Sunday, February 13, 2022



I have been thinking about the word "Copse".

Did I start thinking of it because I have been listening to the audio version of "Fellowship of the Ring", where a word like "Copse" is so perfectly at home that it could reasonably have been invented there?

Did I start thinking of it because I have been walking by so many delightfully evocative little groupings of bare, Winter trees?

Or did the word simply pop in my mind one morning from out of nowhere, as if to say:

"I have something to tell you."

And if it was this third reason it then follows that I would be mysteriously compelled to read "Fellowship of the Ring" for the thirtieth time. It stands to reason that I would start seeing little groups of trees that I have walked by a thousand times before, barely noticing them, and now find myself completely taken by them.

But I don't know which reason it was.

I don't know how the world works, 

though sometimes I like to cosplay it.

But I do know that lately I have been muttering "Copse" under my breath like a lunatic (but the nice kind of lunatic, like from a diverting comic English novel from the early twentieth century). And I have been stumbling into three foot snow drifts and heedlessly crossing icy roads to take pictures of fascinating little groups of trees. 

"Why, what is this perfectly charming little stand of trees?" I ask myself.

And I am elated to answer:

"It is a copse."

1 comment:

  1. Have you read The Overstory by Richard Powers? It's loaded with copses, but I don't recollect that it ever uses the word. It was one of my top reads for 2021.


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