FRIENDS AND MEMORIES
The other day I was out on our deck reading, and noted how the trees had grown until I thought I was looking into a forest! Then, for whatever reason, a poem from long ago popped into my mind. I remember in grade school our teacher reading us a poem titled, “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. I also recalled that Joyce Kilmer was a man. I wish I could remember what grade I was in but it had to be 6th or less, because we learned it at Waynedale Grade School. We were all shipped to Elmhurst in 7th grade. Waynedale Grade School had become too crowded to accommodate us, and there was no such thing as a middle school back then, so off we went to Elmhurst, and got to be the “little kids,” instead of the “big kids,” something my good friend Gelaine can still carry on about. Anyway, I got to wondering, if asked, if some of my old friends would remember the poem, “Trees” and who authored it. So I got on email and emailed Nancy Lee, Gelaine Listenberger, and Billie Blush to see if they remembered a poem from so long ago that had stuck in my mind for 55 years or so. Can you believe that they ALL remembered the poem? Two of them also remembered the author, but none of them remembered that Joyce Kilmer was a man. Then I couldn’t get the poem out of my head, and could not recite the whole poem. I didn’t even remember if it were a long or short poem. So I “Googled” it. Remarkably, it is only five stanzas long. Kilmer’s life span was 1886-1918. I see that he has a body of work, and I’m going to start researching it. But for now, I wanted to share this special poem of his with you, betting that all of you who went to grade school in the 50s will remember it too.
by Joyce Kilmer
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 may in summer wear
A nest of Robins in her hair
Upon whose bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rainPoems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree.
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