Rondeau: Forest ways

The forest ways wind endlessly,
Through grass and gorse, by twisted tree,
Far-seeing ridge where wild winds blow
Deep dells where secret waters flow,
And there is no one here but me.

From Camp Hill Clump to Friends I see
No living soul: there’s liberty
And solitude for those who know
The forest ways.

There’s work that I should really be
Engaged in now, but truancy
Stirs in my restless mind and so
I’ll pull on boots and coat, and go
To walk once more, alone and free,
The forest ways


13 thoughts on “Rondeau: Forest ways

  1. That’s what I need right now, Nick. A good walk in the woods on a day warm enough so that my bones don’t quiver. The feeling of nature in your poems is always so intense, and that feeling resonates inside me, making my soul sing. I think that’s why I like Robert Frost and Edward Thomas, who were, of course, friends, so much. They both touch nature in a particular way that reminds me of so much of your work. Thanks for this day’s poem.

    • Gracious and generous as always, my friend. i shan’t make it as far as the Forest today – duty calls, alas – but I shall steal an hour in the woods closer to home, come what may. Frost, as you know, is a great hero of mine, so it’s wonderful to be compared to him, however unworthily! N.

    • Ha! We lived in that part of the world (Pickering, inland from Whitby, on the edge of the North York Moors) for a while and I know exactly how hilly it is, having walked, cycled and ridden horses over it. I think you can be forgiven for having tired legs, especially coming from Holland!! The Ashdown Forest isn’t as wild and woolly as the Moors, but it’s the nearest thing we have to ‘proper’ open country here in the crowded South East, and I love it for that, among many other things. N.x

    • Hi Eric – there are lots of websites devoted to the different metrical forms; personally, I started with a book called ‘The Ode Less Travelled’ by Stephen Fry. His prose can wear a little thin after a while, but his explanations of the various forms are very clear and accessible. I also spent a lot of time initially writing blank verse: iambic pentameter ( the classic da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM pattern of syllables you’ll find in Shakepeare’s plays and sonnets) but without any rhymes, just to get the ‘feel’ of it. The Shakespearean sonnet is a good place to start adding rhymes, as the scheme is quite straightforward. Good luck – looking forward to reading ’em! N.

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