Friday, April 30, 2010

Arbor Day--National Poetry Month

It's Arbor Day and the last day of National Poetry Month, so what better way to celebrate than with a few tree poems? I'm guessing more than a few of us memorized Joyce Kilmer's famous "Trees" in grade school. How much of it can you still recite without peeking?


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

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's 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.

You may also remember "Woodman, Spare that Tree" by George Pope Morris. Here's a Phil Harris rendition on the gramophone:

Modern poets also write of trees. Kids' favorite, Douglas Florian, has a new book book out called Poetrees. Take a look at the poems and art here.

Poet and naturalist Wendell Berry writes "For the Future". What trees--literal or figurative--are you planting for the future?

Happy Arbor Day! So long, National Poetry Month!


  1. Hey, enjoyed Kilmer's pithy poem once again. Thanks for posting.
    You also added joy to our family when they discovered who jazzy recited the Woodman poem.
    Here is another recitation of Mr. Harris. Hope you bop like Buddy when you hear his philosophic, highly liturgical scat.

  2. I am boppin', Cindy! Thanks for the tip. Glad you enjoyed the post. :)