Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918)

With a little help from Bartleby, unhemmed proudly presents 'Trees', a poem at least one reader already has off pat:

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 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.

The afore-mentioned unnamed reader when performing 'Trees' makes a significant improvement by omitting the second, third, fourth and fifth couplets. This gives the thing more oomph, and means that we're not troubled by the idea of trees having hungry mouths and hair-dos (don't buy it), and looking at God the whole time (don't buy it). If you google 'trees', Kilmer's ditty is about the eighth link you get.


James Womack said...

Tom Disch:

"I think that I shall never read
A tree of any shape or breed -
For all its xylem and its phloem -
As fascinating as a poem."

It continues, but I cut straight to the chase.

Semafor said...

"I think that I shall never see
A letter lovely as a psi,
Which thrusts its base below the line
And lifts its pitchfork for a sign.

A psi that may at some times wear
A bar or tilde in its hair--
That bears exponents gracefully
And intimately lives with phi.

Psi's can be writ by fools like me,
But only Greeks can make a xi."

Not mine, but I don't know whose this is.