How does "The Way Through the Woods" by Rudyard Kipling imply that nature can overpower common man?

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In this two-stanza poem by Rudyard Kipling, the poet describes a road through the woods that was closed seventy years ago. Now nature has completely taken over the attempts by common man to turn the land into something useful for humans. The poem lists multiple signs that nature has taken back the area that previously was used for the road:

  • Weather and rain have played a part in causing the road that men constructed to be lost.
  • Coppice (brush that has been cut back), heath (vegetation such as rough grasses), and anemones (buttercups) now cover the path.
  • Birds and badgers freely use the space that would have been dangerous to them when the road was there.
  • Otters whistle freely in the area because so few humans now disturb the area.

The final lines of the second stanza confirm that the only way to appreciate the road now is to imagine the horses and "the swish of a skirt in the dew." Nature has taken over what man once created in that area.

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