Joyce Kilmer

(1886-1918 / New Jersey)

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Trees


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.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Monday, April 29, 2013

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Read poems about / on: tree, poem, snow, summer, rain, hair, god

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  • Veteran Poet - 2,656 Points Walterrean Salley (9/18/2014 5:08:00 AM)

    How I love this poem. Quoting it as I'm typing this comment. Kilmer finds a tree to be such a magnificent part of creation, while duly placing the credit where it belongs. To God. Thank you Mr. Kilmer for this beautiful gem. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 5,798 Points * Sunprincess * (6/17/2014 9:22:00 PM)

    .........this is real poetry....this poem has always been my favourite ever since I was a small girl......trees are very special..... in order to save the planet.....we need to save our trees... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 37 Points Valentin Savin (3/23/2014 9:23:00 AM)

    I never mind what is said here about methaphors, meter, rhymes. But I find the poem interesting and to my loving and I'll try to translate it into Russian. More so, that this poem has not been translated into any other language yet. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,573 Points Wahab Abdul (12/12/2013 1:17:00 AM)

    the poem is notable for its use of personification and anthropomorphic imagery: the tree of the poem, which Kilmer depicts as female, is depicted as pressing its mouth to the Earth's breast, looking at God, and raising its leafy arms to pray. The tree of the poem also has human physical attributes—it has a hungry mouth, arms, hair (in which robins nest) , and a bosom. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 700 Points Tony Karas (12/12/2012 9:55:00 PM)

    Sublimely beautiful and so simple... real elegance with words. No wonder she's a master! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Paul Anthony (12/12/2012 7:05:00 PM)

    So simple, so beautiful. I'm not really a nature man but I'll tip my hat next time I pass a tree. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 306 Points Shahzia Batool (12/12/2012 8:48:00 AM)

    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;
    Great! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 16,397 Points Gajanan Mishra (12/12/2012 7:41:00 AM)

    Is a poet fool? O yes if the poet is here to follow truth to follow emotion and try to make others good. And a true poet is doing only this. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Justin Gonzalez (12/12/2012 4:49:00 AM)

    I am a BIG fan of trees and a BIG fan of poetry, and it's really pleasing for me to have both of them combined in one. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Elizabeth Williams (12/2/2012 7:00:00 PM)

    To me, a tree seems the most beautiful of all things in nature. To have captured it in so few words is beautiful in itself. (Report) Reply

Read all 51 comments »

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