‘The Way Through the Woods by Rudyard Kipling is a two stanza poem describing the changes that have come over one particular place in the forest.

Instead of structuring the poem with one particular rhyme scheme, the poem includes instances of rhyme scattered throughout the lines. An example is the repetition of the end word “woods” that appears at the end of 7 of the 25 lines.

It begins, “They shut the road though the woods/ SeventyYears 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 trees”.

The poem begins with the speaker lamenting that there used to be a road in the woods but since 70 years have passed, there have been new trees and exponential growth- the area has been reclaimed by nature.

It is easy to sense a conflict in the speaker- on one level he is mourning the loss of the path, and with its disappearance, one no longer has access to its beauty and creatures that exist in the forest. On the other hand, the closure of the path has caused a resurgence in the surrounding life.

Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. Born in India, it was here that he was inspired to write much of his work.

In 1907 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Following his death, his ashes were interred at Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey in England.

More Info: en.m.wikipedia.org