Allow me to share with you the insanity of my pedantry. Fully aware of the fact that once published, the text will not be displayed as written in Evernote, I nonetheless take great pains to ensure that the paragraph lengths correspond. In this post, paragraphs one, three, four and six have the same line lengths, as do paragraphs two, five and seven. Imagine my disappointment when I could not also express the “To the next poem” part in three paragraphs!
Composed in 2012, “Autumn” was my first traditional poem, an ode to the season. Since then, I have learnt a great deal about poesy, and consequently, when I decided to include it in my anthology in the making, wanted to look at the composition anew.
Needless to say, I found it woefully inadequate, and over the past few months have transformed it into something that reflects my current level of skill. This reworked version is now complete.
The theme of the poem remains, but the stanzas are more focussed—rather than overflow with autumnal references (the exuberance of an inexperienced poet), they each dwell on one characteristic of the season instead. I am thrilled with the outcome!
To the next poem
I must now decide which sketch to develop next. I have been itching to work on “Little River” (started late last year, the final addition to the collection), but I prefer to proceed in the order sketches were first conceived (with a few inexorable exceptions).
Following this method, I have before me “Rains and Roads” (16 March 2017), “Cranes” and “Mountains” (both 18 March 2018), “Shepherd Girl” (12 May 2018) and “Autumn Day” (30 May 2018).
“Cranes” rehashes “Cranes and Sheep”, “Autumn Day” is hackneyed and “Mountains” has insufficient substance to be a poem in its own right. I intend to discard all three but will look for opportunities to weave their redeemable parts into other works.
“Rains and Roads” (on the joy of a wet winter’s day) and “Shepherd Girl” (a vignette of my mother’s childhood) both have potential. I grant myself the week to see which I am drawn to most.
In the reworked version of the “Autumn” poem thus far, I have preserved the rhythm of the original composition. Recently, however, it seemed to me that certain lines contained a superfluous adjective—there merely as a legacy of the original cadence—contributing nothing vital to the work (the equivalent of having “Young” before “Mary had a little lamb”). I have now removed these adjectives from their respective lines. Already, the composition is more fluid, measured and succinct.