Treasure Island

Edward Thomas

(3 March 1878 - 9 April 1917 / London / England)

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The Cherry Trees


The cherry trees bend over and are shedding,
On the old road where all that passed are dead,
Their petals, strewing the grass as for a wedding
This early May morn when there is none to wed.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Monday, June 06, 2011

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  • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (8/25/2014 2:18:00 PM)

    Nature's continuous cycle birth life death in the petals celebration or tears while they fall it's what the reader perceives...this could have been a haiku but as a short poem it says alot, too. (Report) Reply

  • Kay Staley (8/25/2014 11:43:00 AM)

    To strengthen this poem it needs to be longer. Sometimes the shortest poems say it all, but in this case the length is not very memorable because of the topic and the formality of the poem. The first 3 lines are cool, but the last line doesnt seem to go with the poem at all. (Report) Reply

  • Michelle Claus (8/25/2014 10:38:00 AM)

    Four lines capture what we all know to be true about the bittersweet cycle of life and death. I always savor a poem that excels in parsimony. Reading The Cherry Trees by Edward Thomas reminds me to select my words and images with purpose and exactitude. (Report) Reply

  • Jayatissa K. Liyanage (8/25/2014 9:31:00 AM)

    Nice portrayal of the real life poetically. Cherry, the well known tree that keeps people in high spirits come in to bloom, shed petals on the ground, they get dried under the feet of people and disappears. Whole cycle repeats itself, mostly coinciding with a time when weddings are not taking place. How sad it is! Excellent write. I enjoy reading it. (Report) Reply

  • Ebuka Prince Okoroafor (8/25/2014 12:49:00 AM)

    Now...trying to analyse this poem, it is set in a time when there has been so many deaths, probably caused by war....that is why in the second line thomas implies that all those that trod such a path is dead. in the 3rd line he also paints a picture of that road being deserted because the petals strew the grass as if for a wedding (remember, flowers at weddings as regards this, are usually fresh) , in the fourth line he caps it all when he says when there is none to wed....it means that this death road has taken too many a people. generally the poem suggests a time of loss but what intrigues me most is the way he paints the picture, concealing the loss with the image of a shedding cherry tree, and even at that dear friends...have you ever wondered why the cherry tree is SHEDING? ...good write from edward thomas! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Noctiluca Scintillans (8/25/2013 7:04:00 AM)

    a very awakening idea to get to know, human being
    unlike others are blessed
    with the ability to change and
    adapt
    unlike the cherry trees which shed petals
    though none wed (Report) Reply

  • Shahzia Batool (8/25/2012 10:15:00 PM)

    A cherry tree is an object representing Nature's Beauty n Bounty, frequently used in literature as a symbol esp in naturalism. The gargantuan cherry orchard of Chekov comes to mind! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Karen Sinclair (8/25/2012 3:21:00 AM)

    Beautifully desolate.... fills ones mind with visions of beauty and ones stomach with twinges of remorse and pain....lovely lovely lovely (Report) Reply

  • Tony Walton (8/25/2012 3:12:00 AM)

    This poem calls to mind A.E.Housman's 'Loveliest of trees, the cherry now / Is hung with bloom along the bough', from 'A Shropshire Lad'.
    If you like Edward Thomas, as I do, read my poem ROADS TO FRANCE. Like Wilfred Owen, he was killed on the Western Front in the First World War. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (8/25/2011 2:30:00 AM)

    Pathetic situation of Cheery Tree is effectively said in this brief poem very well! (Report) Reply

  • Maria Barbara Korynt (9/23/2009 10:05:00 AM)

    Beautiful, unusually image. It is touching living and passing in the delicate and subtle way... this poem sie feels... Very much I like the way of depicting and the ability of handing it over for the reader, in the economical, aesthetic and interesting way. I like it very much. Maria Barbara Korynt (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (8/25/2009 10:14:00 AM)

    Don't take it so literally! The old road is still a road, and most certainly will be a road once more trod by passersby like the speaker, who is alive and wants to share the beauty of cherry trees shedding their petals. 'No one alive has used it' is a misreading of the poet's intent, I think. Perhaps the wedding is scheduled for next Saturday, don't you see, or two weeks from now? The road is everlasting, as is the nature of men and women to renew old vows each spring. Rejoice, the speaker says, all is well and will be well! (Report) Reply

    Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (8/25/2014 2:23:00 PM)

    and life goes on just as it always has..

  • Ravi A (8/25/2009 8:50:00 AM)

    I can really read the mind of the poet but just can't express it in so many words. I am reminded of a couplet that runs like this: -
    'The river will continue to flow
    The cool winds will visit the dales once again'. May god bless the poet. (Report) Reply

Read all 24 comments »

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