It’s Arbor Day. Remember Arbor Day when you were a kid? I bet you had to memorize that poem…Like most songs and poems once known in their entirety, I can only remember the first two lines of Kilmer’s grade school favorite. So, I looked it up:


by Joyce Kilmer

(For Mrs. Henry Mills Alden)

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.

Dale Hobson, our resident poet, who considers this one of the lesser efforts in the English language, does point out that it’s the only poem/poet recognized on the New Jersey Turnpike with its own rest stop, named for Kilmer. Speaking of Dale, it’s the last day of National Poetry Month and Dale has been writing a poem a day throughout April. If you haven’t checked out the month-long poetry blog, slide over there…Dale has written some wonderful verse:

Tree-planting is the best Arbor Day activity. My husband planted half a dozen apple trees yesterday which he started from seed. I tend to forget that trees come from seeds, after decades of buying saplings.

One last Arbor Day note: about 35 years ago, I purchased (very inexpensively) 2,000 small saplings from the Ag &  Conservation Department. I planted them on a patch of old pasture and woodland on the back of my farm. There’s a forest there now. They actually grew (well, not all of them, but enough to make a real difference). So, plant a tree.

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