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Poems about Firewood

 

Species of woodYou may or may not be aware that there are some quite well known poems about firewood. After all there are probably not many topics that have not been covered through the wonders of poetry.

Whilst I have heard a couple of poems from years gone by I just thought I would look around to see how many well known ones there actually are and on searching the internet I can really only find two. The first is simply called the Firewood Poem by Celia Congreve which was supposedly the first of its kind to be published in Mar 1930. - Good old Celia, your poem really does stand out as almost the one and only such poem and lucky that you put your name to it as the only other one has neither a title or author - just 'Anon' and seems to have been given a number of titles such as  - 'Logs to Burn' and 'The firewood Rhyme'.

So, I suppose the key thing is, do they still hold true after all these years? To a degree, I think they do, but it is really rather interesting to read them now and compare them now in the age of wood burners rather than only open fires.

'Beechwood fires are bright and clear, if the logs are kept a year'.........  Beech is undoubtedly a great firewood and has a bright flame, but even if split and cut into log size, I would doubt that natural drying will make it ready for burning in a year.  The bit about burning ash is always an interesting one and people always say that its brilliant because you can burn it green. ....... 'But ash new or ash old, is fit for a queen with crown of gold'...... I can't say that I agree with this because in all honesty for the best burn, all wood has to be dried to below 20% moisture content for the best burn.

'Oaken logs burn steadily if the wood be old and dry;' - True enough, but it really does need 2-3 years of proper air drying under cover and split into logs before you get these results. .......'Poplar makes a bitter smoke, Fills your eyes and makes you choke' - Perhaps true of the old traditional poplar trees which have, like willow, a thick corky bark, but the modern day poplar doesn't have this thick bark and actually burns very well. It gives out a lot of heat and burns with a bright flame, but does burn quite quickly, so perhaps like Silver Birch or a softwood.

Having burnt so many different species of logs over the last 20 years or so I think one can actually almost ignore the poems for the sake of burning facts because if you make sure that all the wood you ever burn is dried down to below 20% moisture content, you can actually burn anything and particularly if in a wood burning stove as even chestnut which can spit a little, won't matter behind a closed door!

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One thought on “Poems about Firewood”

  • Edward Pitt

    I'm always surprised that birch gets such a fleeting mention and ash is lauded so extravagantly. As you say, ash, like all wood needs to be really dry to burn well and in my experience does not dry quickly. Birch, on the other hand dries readily and gives a lovely hot fire. No wonder the Scandinavians love it so much !

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