Friday, March 13, 2009

to my favorite flora

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.

The first time I read that poem I was about eight years old. I found it at the beginning of the "Poetry Unit" in my 3rd grade language arts textbook (I never really liked that subject name: "language arts"). It was the first poem I read that touched me, resonated in my innocent heart. Something about its expression facsinated me and strangely (at the time) drew me to it more than any whimsical Shel Silverstein poem or silly limerick could. Perhaps that's so because I've always had an affinity for those branched, leafy giants, thinking them more than just plants that grew to the clouds. This poem made sense to me in that trees contain a real humanity.

Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me? -Walt Whitman

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snowto keep an appointment with a beech-tree,or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines. -Henry David Thoreau

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