Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

NPM: #24: into the woods–the original?

Although it’s been out for a bit now, the fairy tale musical extravanga Into the Woods takes on new meaning in James Weldon Johnson’s poem. Meryl Streep beckoning folks to find answers in the woods is a bit creepy for my tastes, especially since I favor the serenity felt in the woods. This is one reason I am so drawn to this particular rendering of the peace, the reverance found within the forest. Are the woodlands scary or a refuge for you?

Deep in the Quiet Wood

James Weldon Johnson, 18711928

Are you bowed down in heart?
Do you but hear the clashing discords and the din of life?
Then come away, come to the peaceful wood,
Here bathe your soul in silence. Listen! Now,
From out the palpitating solitude
Do you not catch, yet faint, elusive strains?
They are above, around, within you, everywhere.
Silently listen! Clear, and still more clear, they come.
They bubble up in rippling notes, and swell in singing tones.
Now let your soul run the whole gamut of the wondrous scale
Until, responsive to the tonic chord,
It touches the diapason of God’s grand cathedral organ,
Filling earth for you with heavenly peace
And holy harmonies.

image: morguefile/modnar

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5 thoughts on “NPM: #24: into the woods–the original?

  1. I struggled to get through the movie, is it worth re-watching?

  2. they are my respite and my cathedral. I bow down. Lovely. Thank you, again and again.

  3. I agree. Woods are supposed to be peaceful. And if they have convenient staircases, all the better!

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