This is the entirety of the “multi-stanza” sub-direction of the first direction for the “Mist from the Mountains” poem, thus far. (Not shown are the additional writings for the first direction’s “variations” sub-direction, the second “one-stanza” direction and the third “two-stanza” direction—all yet to be fully explored.)
This is how my poems usually develop—an explosion of lines that coalesce into verses that I write and rewrite, experimenting with different ways of expressing the theme. The result is the nebulous mass of words, lines, stanzas and notes you see above.1
The three columns on page four each contain a version of the “multi-stanza” draft as it exists currently. They are essentially the same—extracted from pages one to three—but with sufficient differences in rhyming sets that they must now be considered separately. From these will emerge the final “multi-stanza” poem.
I am still developing the “multi-stanza” sub-direction of the three directions I envisage for the “Mist from the Mountains” sketch. Interestingly, as it has evolved, it has assimilated both the second and third directions and its own “variations” sub-direction (that is, to present individual stanza variations as a set under one title).
I would still like to investigate the “variations” sub-direction in addition to the second “one-stanza précis” direction (a quatrain summarising the “multi-stanza” version I am developing now), but it seems the third “two-stanza précis” direction is all but obsolete, absorbed into the “multi-stanza” sub-direction.
I attempt to clarify the convolutions of this evolution in the graphic above. The organic nature of the creative process makes for odd descriptions and naming with little regard for order or logic—wherefore the “direction” numbering is not sequential in the diagram: one, three, two—but I hope it illustrates what I am developing.
It was overcast yesterday with heavy fog on the mountains and so the aptest weather for working on “Mist from the Mountains”. Today, the fog persists, accompanied by heavy rain early this morning. Venturing out regardless, just before first light, I surveyed the fog-laden mountains and was rewarded with the perfect word for a line in the poem that has troubled me over the past few days (not the “Solemn, sombre and slow” line I singled out yesterday but the one that follows it). It seems the early bard catches the word.