Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Poem About a Tree

I can still hear my mother's voice reciting this old poem, from when I was very little and we lived in West Virginia, before we moved to Ipswich by the sea:

Trees

(For Mrs. Henry Mills Alden)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


Now okay, it's a bit odd, because my mother and father are devout atheists as am I. But the sentiment, of loving nature, and especially trees, is well expressed.

As it turns out, that poem was written by Joyce Kilmer, who I now have learned has numerous parks, monuments, and facilities named after him here in New Jersey. He died heroically in WWI.

I hadn't put any reference to that poem anywhere in my blog so far because it seemed so, I don't know, overused, overwrought, and such an antiqued cliche.

But then today by oddest of chances, in a search totally unrelated to this blog, a link turned up to the poem here, so I feel obliged to mention it:

http://www.kilmerhouse.com/?p=247

And it turns out that, amazingly enough, the author of the poem was the son of an early Science Director of J&J, which happens to be the family that still literally owns everything around my little farm Wit's End! And thus Joyce Kilmer spent summer days romping around the very same fields and woods that are photographed here, on my blog.

And BTW just so it isn't forgotten, I recalled today that I did too have about 15 seconds of fame myself!:

http://climateprogress.org/2009/04/28/heat-wave-new-york-times/

Thanks JoeR, you probably regret it now, ha ha!

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