Friday, May 28, 2010

Poetry Friday: The Way Through the Woods

There's a place I pass often on my daily walks. It looks as though there used to be a road there, or perhaps a driveway to a beautiful home. Now it's all overgrown, but every time I pass I think about this poem.

The Way Through the Woods

by Rudyard Kipling

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.

I remember reading this poem in high school but I had forgotten that Rudyard Kipling wrote it. I loved then, and love now, the mysterious feel of it.

I am getting focused on going home to Haiti, but part of saying goodbye to where I am now is appreciating how very beautiful it is here. I will miss this lush green, and the walks that are so peaceful and satisfying. Maybe a time will come when this interlude in my life will seem distant and hard to recall, like that road that used to be there in the woods, but is no longer.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.


Mary Lee said...

I guess it's one thing for nature to erase human activity over time -- hence the beauty of the place where you walk or the place in Kipling's poem -- as opposed to nature erasing human activity in one fell swoop. Good luck and safe travels home!

Violet N. said...

What a beautiful poem - I've never read it before. The photo suits it perfectly.

Many blessings on your travels.