Trees 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 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.


Here is a short animation of the poem to the music of Justin Durban in a1:51 minute poetry-video movie by Chuck Kluesner.

Poem TREES by Joyce Kilmer

Poetry facts for children:

1. Joyce Kilmer (born as Alfred Joyce Kilmer; 6 December 1886 – 30 July 1918) was an American writer and poet

2. In the beginning of 2oth century Joyce Kilmer worked for  Funk and Wagnalls, which was preparing an edition of The Standard Dictionary that would be published in 1912. His job was to to define ordinary words assigned to him at five cents for each word defined.

3. In 1912, Kilmer became a special writer for the New York Times Review of Books and the New York Times Sunday Magazine

4. Interesting fact – Kilmer was a lecturer and according to his friend’s memories “frequently neglected to make any preparation for his speeches, not even choosing a subject until the beginning of the dinner which was to culminate in a specimen of his oratory. His constant research for the dictionary, and, later on, for his New York Times articles, must have given him a store of knowledge at his fingertips to be produced at a moment’s notice. ”