The next poetic sketch I shall develop is on a favourite subject: swallows. It is yet another attempt at exalting the loveliest of birds. The South African autumn is here, and they will soon begin their northward journey; when they return in September, I shall welcome them again—with verse!
The working title of this draft is “To a Swallow II”1, a celebration of the birds at the height of summer. It follows “To a Swallow I” (now “Swallows!”), which welcomes them in spring. I have already begun testing variations on one of the lines and shall immerse myself in the work in the weeks to come.
- I thought of titling “To a Swallow II” “Lines Written upon Watching a Flight of Swallows in Late Spring”, in the spirit of Wordsworth’s elaborate “Ode, Composed upon an Evening of Extraordinary Splendour and Beauty”; but I was inspired by his simpler “To a…” convention instead. (Since “To a Swallow I” no longer exists as a title, I have decided to remove the Roman numeral, making the working title of this poem “To a Swallow”, for the time being.)