Linda is back with a new challenge for us this week. Pop over to Linda’s place to join in: Life in Progress – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.
This week, the prompt is:
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “tree.” Use the word “tree” or write about a tree. Any kind of tree. Enjoy!
When I first saw the prompt, I immediately thought of one of the first poems I ever memorized – “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. It is hard to say anything about trees more beautifully than this short work.
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.
Joyce Kilmer accomplished a lot in his short life. He died by a sniper’s bullet in France during WWI just five years after he penned this poem.
After attending Rutgers and Columbia he worked for Funk and Wagnalls defining words for The Standard Dictionary. His fourth child, Rose, was stricken with polio and lost the use of her limbs. Her illness caused he and his wife to turn to their faith for strength and his letters of correspondence with Father James J. Daly would inspire him to convert to Catholicism.
Shortly after the US entered the war, Kilmer enlisted. Prior to his deployment to Europe, his daughter Rose died and twelve days later his wife gave birth to his fifth child, Christopher.
While in Europe, Kilmer volunteered for some of the most dangerous reconnaissance missions which eventually led to his death just five years after his poem “Trees” was published.
There is an old growth forest of 3,800 acres not far from where I live – The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. I am inspired to go there and hike the two mile trail this spring and just absorb the beauty and the energy of the simplicity of a tree – one he saw more clearly than others.