This week sees the last of our daughter’s primary school career so I am posting The Way Through the Woods by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936by in honour. She recited this poem at a school poetry recitation competition and I can safely say that we all knew it by heart by the time the event came around. We have Kipling’s poem in Penguin’s Poems by Heart  (mentioned previously) which was a very apt title as it happened.

The Way Through the Woods

Woodland landscape

The Way Through the Woods

They shut the way 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 anenomes.
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 may dig up even more nostalgic pieces for #PoetryinJune this week, so be warned…

Photo Credit: D.J.L. 2012


2 comments on “Kipling

  1. Tim Vicary says:

    That’s a beautiful poem, new to me – thank you!


    • Chris Mills says:

      Glad you liked it. I love the mystery in the poem – rather like Walter de la Mare’s ‘The Listeners’. Thanks for commenting!


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