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”.
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.
I continue my work on the “Autumn” poem, extracting from its many stanza variations those that best express the theme.
The composition consists of eight couplets. Presently, I have whittled the variations for each down to two for the first couplet, one for the second, third and fourth couplets, two for the fifth couplet, one for the sixth couplet, and five for the seventh and eighth couplets—most of these have internal refinements yet to be made.
Now and then, a new idea for a variation interrupts me, but it is a welcome delay. I hope to have a final draft in January.