Kilmer was born on December 6, 1886 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the fourth and youngest child of Annie Ellen Kilburn (1849–1932) and Dr. Frederick Barnett Kilmer (1851–1934), a physician and analytical chemist employed by the Johnson and Johnson Company and inventor of the company's baby powder. Joyce was named Alfred Joyce Kilmer after Alfred R. Taylor, the curate; and the Rev. Dr. Elisha Brooks Joyce (1857–1926), the rector of Christ Church, the oldest Episcopal parish in New Brunswick, where the Kilmer family were parishioners. Rector Joyce, who served the parish from 1883 to 1916, baptised the young Kilmer. Kilmer's birthplace in New Brunswick, where the Kilmer family lived from 1886 ... more »
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Joyce Kilmer Poems
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;
(For the Rev. James J. Daly, S. J.) Bright stars, yellow stars, flashing through the air, Are you errant strands of Lady Mary's hair?
The House With Nobody In It
Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black. I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.
(For Robert Cortez Holliday) If I should live in a forest And sleep underneath a tree,
As Winds That Blow Against A Star
(For Aline) Now by what whim of wanton chance Do radiant eyes know sombre days?
(For Aline) Because the road was steep and long And through a dark and lonely land,
(For Sara Teasdale) The lonely farm, the crowded street, The palace and the slum,
Prayer Of A Soldier In France
1 My shoulders ache beneath my pack 2 (Lie easier, Cross, upon His back). 3 I march with feet that burn and smart
Ballade Of My Lady's Beauty
Squire Adam had two wives, they say, Two wives had he, for his delight, He kissed and clypt them all the day And clypt and kissed them all the night.
Why is that wanton gossip Fame So dumb about this man's affairs? Why do we titter at his name Who come to buy his curious wares?
A Blue Valentine
(For Aline) Monsignore, Right Reverend Bishop Valentinus,
Citizen Of The World
No longer of Him be it said "He hath no place to lay His head." In every land a constant lamp
A few long-hoarded pennies in his hand Behold him stand; A kilted Hedonist, perplexed and sad. The joy that once he had,
"Dulce et decorum est" The bugle echoes shrill and sweet, But not of war it sings to-day.
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.