The silence in the woods

I have always hated handicrafts, anything that involves cutting and sewing, weaving, pasting or pinning. So my eyes glazed over before I even got to the end of the instructions for today’s NaPoWriMo prompt. However, much simpler, is to find inspiration in a line from someone else’s poem. I often pinch favourite lines and let the words work their magic. In this villanelle I’ve taken the last two lines from a favourite poem of mine, The Listeners by Walter de la Mare:

“And how the silence surged softly backward

When the plunging hoofs were gone.”

 

There was silence in the woods beneath the trees

Where the ferny grasses bent beneath my tread;

No birds sang in my presence, ill at ease.

 

I listened for the voices in the breeze,

To tell me I had misheard what you said—

There was silence in the woods beneath the trees.

 

I saw no movement, feathered flight that flees,

In the blue arched high above my head;

No birds sang in my presence, ill at ease.

 

I stopped, breath held, drank silence to the lees,

Hoping in these dreams about me spread;

There was silence in the woods beneath the trees.

 

Beyond the quiet, sounds of life, a tease,

Even stream-murmur filled me with dread,

No birds sang in my presence, ill at ease.

 

You will not come, I know I was misled,

You kept my dreams, my heart’s blood all is bled,

Only silence laughs here, dark the trees,

No song will this deep sorrow ever ease.

Advertisements

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

38 thoughts on “The silence in the woods”

  1. The lines that inspired you are wonderful. What a wonderful phrase and image this is: “the silence surged softly backward.” And I love the villanelle you came up with with the silence where even the birds are ill at ease.
    I may do a similar type of poem today.

  2. The repitition of the line “There was silence in the woods beneath the trees” feels, full of expectation and quite hypnotic. There is conjuring going on…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s