Joyce Kilmer

(1886-1918 / New Jersey)


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: Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Topic of this poem: trees

# 50 poem on top 500 Poems

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546 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: tree, poem, snow, summer, rain, hair, god

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Comments about this poem (Trees by Joyce Kilmer )

  • Gold Star - 12,172 Points Sandra Feldman (2/6/2015 5:14:00 PM)

    For me this is the perfect poem, every single word is perfect in meaning, rhyme and musicality.
    I cry each time I read it because my mother was the first to read it to me and because of its unmeasurable beauty. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,463 Points John Richter (2/6/2015 11:32:00 AM)

    Wonderful, quite romantic poetry! I like this one very much. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 752 Points Sir Toby Moses (12/12/2014 12:39:00 PM)

    Ain't I a fool reading this one? (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (12/12/2014 10:38:00 AM)

    Tree the real offspring of earth and it is a poem - A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; Love the most lovely (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 24,387 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (12/12/2014 7:56:00 AM)

    Of all the poems about the tree I think this is much impressive and better observing the importance of tree in a different side views. A trees hungry mouth is prest..... and........Against the earth's sweet flowing breast... wonderful imagination and to be appreciated in that spirit of poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 404 Points Willian Menuci (12/12/2014 5:40:00 AM)

    Just love it.
    But I must say, yes, perhaps God can make a tree, but only us, humans, can make love.
    You can't find love on nature, you can find anything else, just as sympathy, hope and peace, but love, love is a human's thing. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 11,611 Points Rajnish Manga (12/12/2014 4:12:00 AM)

    This personification of a tree has been done remarkably well. You have rightly said that the tree is created by God and hence it is above all man made things. I like the poem. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 656 Points Michael Hagwood (12/11/2014 6:48:00 PM)

    Its a nice poem, I don't think your being foolish by posting a poem;

    if I had felt foolish I would have just read The Raven (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,187 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

  • Gold Star - 28,783 Points Gajanan Mishra (9/18/2014 4:51:00 AM)

    poems and tree, wonderful - life givers. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 13,873 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

  • Veteran Poet - 1,627 Points Herbert Guitang (4/26/2014 4:43:00 AM)

    Poem like a tree. Love of nature. Very pure idea. Perfect 10 (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 122 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

  • Rookie - 159 Points Didith Marcelo (3/20/2014 4:26:00 PM)

    I like this poem, very beautiful. What a success writing this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sixtus Osim (12/12/2013 6:57:00 PM)

    This poem is beautiful. I like it. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,949 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 Jeri Yarbrpugh (9/23/2013 9:56:00 PM)


    A tree that‘s in God’s light all day
    Whose arms are ever raised to pray (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ron Jakubiec (5/21/2013 7:59:00 AM)

    Thank you Joyce for this Poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Carol G. (3/20/2013 6:47:00 PM)

    Sorry Tony K. but Joyce Kilmer is not a she! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Rashida C M (1/20/2013 7:20:00 AM)

    Kilmer's writing style is so simple and it make me more nature friendly (Report) Reply

Read all 59 comments »

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