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This article aims to reconstruct features of John Forbes' compositional process in his first decade of serious practice, through analysing drafts and early versions of his poems. I compare early versions of 'Here', 'The Joyful Mysteries' and 'Stalin's Holidays' to their final incarnations to show how Forbes was resistant to a fixed, or single, idea when writing a poem. In the context of such openness, Forbes' poems often moved towards a sense of closure, through the pressure his use of formdoi:10.52086/001c.18603 fatcat:zbi57gwtrjdr3elbiwfiz4yide