Thursday, September 26, 2013

Orc work in Woldingham: destruction of beech trees behind my cabin

In his poem Binsey Poplars, Hopkins mourns the thoughtless destruction of loved trees:

My aspens dear...
O if we but knew what we do
When we delve or hew - 
Hack and rack the growing green!
Since country is so tender
To touch, her being só slender,
That, like this sleek and seeing ball
But a prick will make no eye at all,
Where we, even where we mean
To mend her we end her, ...

Ronald Tolkien described the wanton felling of trees as "orc work" and near the end of The Lord of the Rings, the destruction of the trees of the Shire marred Frodo's return, overclouding it with depression and horror and an enduring empoverishment of his world.

Daniel Nichols expresses the same sentiment in his Caelum et Terra blog: Mourning the marring

And I too have my beautiful beech trees to mourn (yes, Daniel, even the same type of tree) and such wonderful tall flawless ones at that: felled by a neighbour just behind my cabin for a construction project which they were not even in the way of. My cabin had until now been a peaceful retreat at times essential to maintaining my sanity.

Even though the sound of power saws and heavy machinery will eventually go, once they have given fruit to a new ugly commercial extension, this cabin will never feel the same: even as I sleep, I can feel the absence of those trees, and it will take a long time for my anger at the orcs with their brash machines to fade. It is harder still to describe and cope with my anger against those who ordered the quite unnecessary slaughter.