The page above shows the current state of the first direction1 for “Mist from the Mountains”.2 In the top half, you see rows of words and lines that attempt to generate ideas for the theme (for example, how to describe the fog), resulting in a shapeless nebula of possibilities. From these, I extracted the rough stanza variations you see in the bottom half where the familiar shape of a poem slowly emerges. This direction will have one quatrain which I shall eventually come to after many more pages like this one.
As always, highlighted black text are those lines I am actively developing and grey text are notes (for example, a reminder as to why I chose this word over that one, or what shortcomings there may be in this line or that one); a forward slash separates variations of the same stanza and coloured letters help me keep track of words (namely their sounds3, literary alliteration, visual alliteration4, and frequency of use5). All this is of little interest I am sure but such is my numbingly meticulous nature!
- As noted here on 5 September 2019.
- There is, of course, a preceding page with the initial draft that spawned the three directions, as well as two subsequent pages with variations I have already written for directions two and three.
- “And everywhere that Mary went…”
- Words similar in shape and letters (I made this one up, I fear): The peasant plucked a pheasant.
- For example, I make a significant word red the moment it appears more than once lest unwittingly I repeat it too often—it is easy to lose track of the obvious even in so short a poem when one is rapt in the writing process.