Friday, May 09, 2008



People chatting under a weeping cherry at New Jersey's Grounds for SculptureNational Poetry Month has passed, but it’s still a good season for poetry. The flowering trees continue to show off here in the northeast, so here’s a recent photo (click to enlarge) from the Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey, along with a well-known poem from New Jersey’s [Alfred] Joyce Kilmer. Kilmer was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey — there’s a rest area on the New Jersey Turnpike that’s named after him — and was killed 90 years ago, at age 31, in World War I. He wrote this, his most famous poem, in 1913.

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.

—— Joyce Kilmer, “Trees”    

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