The Firewood Poem

by Seasonal Wisdom on January 8, 2014

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When burning a proper fire, the types of woods you use matter a great deal. Which firewoods burn best? The Firewood Poem by Lady Celia Congreve gives helpful advice on this topic. This poem was believed to be first published in the Times on March 2, 1930, but it mentions old folklore and shares knowledge that dates back further than that.

See for yourself which firewood is “fit for a queen” and which one has “a bitter smoke, fills your eyes and makes you choke.”

The Firewood Poem

by Lady Celia Congreve

Beechwood fires are bright and clear

If the logs are kept a year,

Chestnut’s only good they say,

If for logs ‘tis laid away

Make a fire of Elder tree,

Death within your house will be,

But ash new or ash old,

Is fit for a queen with crown of gold

Birch and fig logs burn too fast

Blaze up bright and do not last,

It is by the Irish said

Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.

Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,

E’en the very flames are cold

But ash green or ash brown

Is fit for a queen with golden crown

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,

Fills your eyes and makes you choke.

Apple wood will scent your room

Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom

Oaken logs, if dry and old

Keep away the winter’s cold

But ash wet or ash dry

A king shall warm his slippers by.

The Firewood Poem is © Celia Congreve.

The Firewood Poem tells which woods burn like these logs

Photo courtesy Andi.bxg/Flickr

Learn more about the best types of firewoods in this HGTVGardens.com article that features tips from me!

Be Respectful: Always maintain your fireplace properly, and respect your area’s “no-burn” days to ensure your fires are not disturbing your neighbors’ air quality.

Enjoy! “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”  Edith Sitwell

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