In the summer of 1979, I sang along when Dan Fogelberg’s love song Longer played on the radio. He loved the object of his affection ‘deeper than any forest primeval’. What could be more compelling to a fifteen-year-old girl pining for romance. I then equated primeval with a dark European forest, thick with moss and trees old as time.
Years later, it was poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who brought the forest primeval closer to home. During a visit to Cape Breton Island, I purchased a copy of his epic poem, Evangeline, the tale of Acadians’ expulsion from Nova Scotia.
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight. Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.Continue reading “In Search of the Forest Primeval”