To accommodate a particular version of a set of lines in the “Cranes and Sheep” draft, I have, over the past few weeks, contorted its stanzas in every conceivable arrangement to no avail. This is one of the paradoxes of traditional poetry that one can write an excellent line that cannot be used (in the exact form one would like) within the poem for which it was conceived; either for reasons of context, clarity, structure or style, it must be foregone or significantly altered to achieve a coherent poem. The traditional poet’s notebooks are littered with word sequences that will never see the light of verse.

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