When after weeks of agonising over a poem, its completion is in sight, and its format, length, rhyming scheme and metre—the very words that make up its lines—seem so obvious, natural and inevitable, a part of one (somewhat confusingly and despite knowing the answer) ponders how something so simple—and, to one’s mind, pleasant—could arise from so agonising and complex a process!
I have whittled the variations of the last stanza of “Mist on the Mountain” down to three; a task that has consumed me for more than a week. One of these shall appear in the final draft, likely in altered form. As the completion of the poem draws near, I am overcome with anticipation!
It is my custom on Sundays to venture out among the hills just before daylight. Twice now I have spotted on one of the hillsides an antelope browsing.
Though on both occasions it was too distant for an accurate identification, I believe it to be a female Steenbok1 (Raphicerus campestris)2.
I base this solely upon the general shape and colour of the creature—and the name of the nearby mountain, Steenboksberg3 (Steenbok’s Mountain)!
- Afrikaans for “stone-buck”, pronounced [steeyin-bok].
- Steenbok (Wikipedia)
- Afrikaans, pronounced [steeyin-boks-behRCH] with a trilled [RRR] and the [CH] in “loch” (not [ck] but the guttural [kccch]).