There’s Danger in the Woods

Frederick Golden Short, Spring Sunlight, New Forest

Am I really on my way to Paris? My mind drifts and tumbles like the clouds outside the plane’s window.
I think back—when I met Paul (as he was called then) that first time in the woods. I hadn’t slept much the night before. I couldn’t stop thinking of the bombs and the flames—London burning; my family gone. I wanted the cool peace of the ancient forest that surrounded our training area. I heard his steps and turned quickly. My instructors would have been proud of my instinctual fighting stance.
“I saw you leave,” he said, “I was worried about you.”
I said, “Do you know Yeats? ‘I went out to the hazel wood because a fire was in my head.’”
He smiled, and as I looked into his grey-blue eyes, I knew I was smitten–and I knew it was dangerous.

Back to my Prosery spies, but no Hopper this time. This is for dVerse, where
Kim asks us to use this line from W.B. Yeats’ “Song of Wandering Aengus.”
‘I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head’.

I love this poem, and it is such a well-known line. I first incorporated it directly into the prose, but it just didn’t seem right. So, I hope this is not cheating, but this seemed much better to me. Also, in my head, I always hear this line sung because I knew Judy Collins’ song version before I knew the poem. Kim shares a Christy Moore’s version.

67 thoughts on “There’s Danger in the Woods

  1. I’m so glad you continued with the spy thriller, Merril, and that you shared Judy Collins’ song version – there’s another one by Donovan, too. I love that your character quoted the prompt lines – they could be used as a secret message!

  2. The mystery, the intrigue, the tension, yes yes yes! Yes please! I love seeing the spies again, their individual dynamic is like a scale weighing of intensity; it always varies but it keeps you on your toes. Such fantastic writing, yet again. These two are dangerous in themselves. 😀

  3. Oh you are so clever! I love how you’ve asked the question within the story, “Do you know Yeats?” to fit in the line so beautifully! Wonderful tale of intrigue, perhaps espionage?

  4. A terrific meld of intrigue and poetics. The quote is, or seems to be, code wrapped in metaphor, presented as catharsis; a clever rocking of the prompt.

  5. For no reason at all, it would never have occurred to me to use an assigned prosery line the way that you did, Merril… I love your take, and I will seriously consider incorporating future prosery lines this way in the future.

    I really enjoyed this!


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