“Shepherd Girl” and its Afrikaans counterpart, “Skaapwagtertjie”, are complete. Having set myself the task, two weeks ago, of creating greater alignment between the final English and Afrikaans compositions (especially where they were overly dissimilar), I have achieved success.
Now, when the poems are placed side by side, they reflect one another as closely in phrasing and feature as grammar and style allow. Though it took more than sixty additional versions and variations to bring about this symmetry, I consider it time, turmoil and trial well spent.
“Mountains”, a two-stanza ode to the mountain ranges that line the Overberg region of the Western Cape of South Africa, is complete. What has to be one of the roughest poetic sketches I have ever jotted down—the first line, much to my embarrassment, began with “The something something mountain…”—is now a vivid lyric poem.
At first, I had little hope for the sketch, but its subject called out to me and I had to make an attempt. I am pleased I did! I shall reflect upon the composition in the days to come. Once I am satisfied I have exhausted all possibilities, I shall move to the next sketch—in all likelihood, “Shepherd Girl”, a vignette of my mother’s childhood.
The second stanza for “The Sun Through the Clouds” (previously, “Rains and Roads”) has been a success. Not only does it mirror the structure of the first stanza, it complements its concept in a manner I had not anticipated when I first conceived of it. The poem then is complete; its final title, “A Sunburst!”.
In the coming days, I shall reflect upon its lines to see if they may be further refined, but I am confident that it is now in its final form. In the meantime, I have officially abandoned the “Cranes” and “Autumn Day” sketches, as my criticisms remain, but I would like to make an attempt at developing “Mountains”.