Poetry Friday: Trees


Summer Reading Club is in full swing here in Raincity, and this year’s theme is “Walk on the Wild Side”. We’re celebrating our natural world this summer, with programs about biomes and ecosystems, map making and orienteering, camping, bird watching, seeds, and more. In honour of this year’s theme, I’ve chosen a lovely ode to trees for this week’s Poetry Friday post.

I love trees, especially coniferous and evergreen trees. One of the reasons I love living in the Pacific Northwest so very much is the many forests that dot our landscape. Trees are just so inspiring – they grow so achingly slowly, yet eventually stand so very tall, and watch the goings on of the rest of us creatures with such quiet grace. Few things help put life’s worries into perspective for me quite like being in the presence of trees, who have seen countless beings just like me come and go over their long lives. I’m not a religious person by any means, but even I have to stand in wonder and awe at the beauty and majesty of a forest teeming with mighty trees.

Why not try and get out into a forest for a walk this weekend?


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 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.

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  • Reply Linda Mitchell

    I love this poem….it’s so true and honest.

    July 7, 2017 at 9:38 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      My feelings exactly.

      July 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm
  • Reply Irene Latham

    Ooh, I love trees too! Your Walk on the Wild Side sounds like great fun… thank you for sharing!

    July 7, 2017 at 11:48 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      It’s such a great summer time theme!

      July 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm
  • Reply mbhmaine

    I share your love of trees, Jane, and Kilmer’s poem is such a lovely ode. Thanks for sharing.

    July 7, 2017 at 11:50 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      You’re very welcome!

      July 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm
  • Reply lindabaie

    I smile, but it’s true that I bought the home where I live now because of all the trees, & one special over a hundred years old! You’re right, as Kilmer says he’ll never see “a poem lovely as a tree”. Thanks, Jane, fun to hear that you’re having a great time in your summer programs!

    July 7, 2017 at 2:02 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      My grandparents used to live on an island, and it was their little slice of heaven because they were nestled in a forest among the trees. 🙂

      July 11, 2017 at 6:56 pm
  • Reply Brenda Davis Harsham

    Oh, that poem makes me feel my lacks keenly. Yet God made me. 🙂

    July 7, 2017 at 3:43 pm
  • Reply cvarsalona

    Jane, what a beautiful tribute to trees that Joyce Kilmer wrote. Thanks for sharing the poem and the majesty of nature in your locale. I love that the library is celebrating the natural world this summer. If you have any young poets willing to share their thoughts in poetic form, I would love to showcase them and you in my summer gallery.

    July 7, 2017 at 5:15 pm
  • Reply Kiesha Shepard

    Amazing! I feel the same way about trees. They are ancient and wise. I will definitely take a walk into the woods this weekend, perhaps even under the full moon light!

    July 7, 2017 at 9:36 pm
  • Reply readingtothecore

    Thank you for sharing this gorgeous tribute to trees! Your words are true for me as well, and Kilmer’s poem is an all-time favorite, even if it’s not (quite) “as lovely as a tree.”

    July 8, 2017 at 10:42 am
  • Reply Keri Collins Lewis

    I memorized this poem in 5th grade — thanks for reminding me of the parts I’ve forgotten! One thing I noticed about the fabulous woods in Vancouver, besides sometimes discovering tasty berries to eat is they carry such an indescribable scent, almost like a vanilla spice. I loved my time there!

    July 9, 2017 at 12:15 am
  • Reply maryleehahn

    Trees are a miracle we take for granted.

    July 9, 2017 at 11:41 am
  • Reply dmayr

    Hi Jane! I hope you survive the summer at the library. I have my doubts about my survival and I don’t even work in the children’s room. It has been CRAZY!

    July 9, 2017 at 3:42 pm
  • Reply Donna Smith

    Love everything trees! Thanks for sharing this poem today. Enjoy your walks, too!

    July 9, 2017 at 11:55 pm
  • Reply Michelle Kogan Illustration, Painting & Writing

    Beautiful poem Jane, I’m a big tree lover too. I live in the city, but we have many trees thankfully and I’m always in awe of them, and especially taken by the negative shapes all the branches create, thanks for all!

    July 14, 2017 at 3:15 am
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