I am currently developing “A Blustery Day”, a poem first outlined in late August 2018, and like “A Late Winter Morning”, it has unexpectedly produced an offshoot poem.
As I began developing the sketch into a first draft, four short stanzas emerged. These, in an experiment, I tried to condense into two, which worked splendidly; however, their structure so differed from that of the main poem that they could not be incorporated there, justifying a separate composition.
I shall develop this offshoot alongside the main poem as I did “A Chat” alongside “A Late Winter Morning”. If the outcome is satisfactory, I shall include it in the anthology.
A windy day in late winter, filmed 25 August 2018.
Taking much longer to develop than I anticipated, “A Late Winter Morning” is done at last, a celebration of the titular subject in three stanzas, reflecting upon those striking moments that move one to compose: sunlight upon the verdant landscape, familiar birdsong—one’s wistfulness upon hearing it.
I am also pleased that I have found a final title for the offshoot poem, previously undecided between “A Morning Chat” and “A Chat at Solitaire”. It is now simply “A Chat”, referring at once to the bird, the African Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus) and the subject of the poem, its splendid warbling song.
In the days to come, I shall turn to “A Blustery Day”, composed on 25 August 2018, a windy day in late winter (June to August in South Africa). I had the foresight at the time to film the blowing pines that inspired the sketch—there is a row beside the house planted by my mother three decades ago:
The difference between the mind of the poet and the non-poet is illustrated by a brief exchange with my father.
He: “Look at the wind!” I: “Ah! It has places to go!”
To me, spring is a time of involuntary inspiration. In the past month alone, I have composed many new poetic sketches inspired by the flowers I encountered, most of them for the first time, as what bloomed last year, now is nowhere to be found, replaced by different species.
Incidentally, I have noticed in my new sketches a sudden predilection for rhyming couplets in trimetre.1 Spontaneously, they take on the lively AA BB CC and so on rhyming scheme. I do not object; what better way to express the simple and cheerful feelings that move me to write, just now!
Of course, these new sketches are for a future, second anthology—I am yet working on the first—but, in the embrace of Persephone, how could I refuse to comply? I confess I feel a sense of frustration that days are so short and the list of what I wish to achieve in them so long.
da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM / da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM and so on.