I have discarded the offshoot poem of “A Choir of Pine”. I am confident that in the parent poem, I have expressed the theme to my satisfaction; the different style of the offshoot seems to me insufficient justification for its existence, rendering it redundant.
I shall now proceed to the next sketch, “That Is All”: a celebration of the sights and sounds of my rural surroundings, much like “Over the Mountain” before it.
Its form and working title were inspired by “Dis Al”1, a sombre poem by Jan F. E. Celliers who in brief, swaying metre expresses the sorrow of an exiled soldier returned. It is an unexpected beginning for my cheerful theme, but who dictates to the muse?
Pronounced [diss ull], Afrikaans for “that’s all”.
I have just completed “A Blustery Day”—now titled “A Choir of Pine”—four sweeping three-line stanzas revelling in the rush of the wind! I shall now develop its offshoot poem—its working title, “A Choir of Pine II”—which expresses the same but in a different style.
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.