When my mother was a child, she watched the family’s sheep on the slopes of the Small River Mountains, the very range that inspired the “Mist from the Mountains” sketch. There was formed her fondness of flowers, but also her fear of the fog—as I think the photograph shows, a formidable spectre to behold, especially for a child alone.
Last year, I wrote “Shepherd Girl”, an unfinished sketch commiserating with her on those experiences, but yesterday, as I started exploring “Mist from the Mountains”, I could not help but think—as I always do when confronted with a mist-laden landscape—of her dread of the phenomenon that I (and she too in her way) find so fascinating.
As a result, I composed—to indulge this mental picture—a rough second verse that alludes to the “Shepherd Girl” theme, namely Fear and Awe. Though I am still in the early stages of the sketch’s development, this new verse—should I keep it—would forecast a dramatic change in the poem’s theme and tone1. Time will tell what transpires.
- The original one-stanza sketch focuses on the fog itself with Awe as its theme. The “Shepherd Girl” allusion introduces a new dimension that echoes to some extent the theme of “A Rhebok!”.