The Poet and the 1662 boundary route of Sherwood Forest

1662-Sherwood-Forest-Perambulations

In the first of a special two part blog, Dave Wood, Nottinghamshire poet, explains why he has spent the past few weeks on a walk around Sherwood Forest’s boundaries, last outlined in 1662:

In October 2010, I went to a talk in Beeston library by Peter Lester of the Nottinghamshire Archives about the county in the mediaeval era.  He briefly mentioned the Perambulations of Sherwood Forest, last done in 1662 as a way of marking out the boundaries of the forest.

I’m one of the many creative community  – workers that indulge Nottinghamshire with my skills and I include the city in that too; my ‘enablings’ are outside the perimeters at times, taking my skills to far flung areas like Derby, Preston, Carlisle and other such.

The talk in Beeston sparked an idea; 1662?!  Why not since then?  I could walk the route and use it as inspiration for my writing…

The walk would swoop from the city over to the west side, up through Clumber Park and down the east side, passing through New Ollerton, Bilsthorpe and Burton Joyce and then back to Victoria Embankment.  That’s where I’d be going.

I reckoned on two weeks and to make sure the fortnight is not going to be disturbed by last minute of advance bookings I took my tent. I’d use the experience to produce a body of work and see if there would be any takers for the output.

The first poem written to kick start my own Perambulations was read at the Hook Nature Reserve in Lady Bay:

like the oak

let my feet find where they whisper on the ground

– let the ways i tread be solid like the oak

let my eyes be forward and see the world around

as i feel the breeze upon my back – let me be its boat

let the world give all its colours – let them paint them to a smile

 

as i feel the breeze upon my back – let me be its boat

let whoever watches and then follows  – stay a while

– let the ways i tread be solid like the oak

let me keep my words intact – let my language keep afresh

 

let my eyes be forward but see the world around

and when needed – source my wisdom – where imagination nests

let my feet find where they whisper on the ground

let the world give all its colours – let them paint them to a smile

 

– let the ways i tread be solid like the oak

let whoever watches and then follows  – stay a while

as i feel the breeze upon my back – let me be its boat

and when needed – source my wisdom – where imagination nests

 

as i feel the breeze upon my back – let me be its boat

let my feet find where they whisper on the ground

 – let the ways i tread be solid like the oak

 

Over the next two weeks, there would be times of joy, frustration and fruition; there would be epiphanies, realisations and whoop de doops.  There have been a fair few hairs fall out on the way too.

 

Catch the second of Dave’s two part blogs next week, when he talks more about the amazing experiences he encountered walking the 1662 boundary of Sherwood Forest.

Posted on 02 December 2011
Featured author: Dale Web Marketing Officer

A Mansfield lad who likes reading, running and red wine.

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