As you probably already know, Gentle Reader, my favorite living beings happen to be trees. Apparently, I am not the only one who favors these gifts from God.
Norm told me recently that Joyce Kilmer was buried at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in the Champagne province of France.
“Who is Joyce Kilmer?” I asked.
“He’s the soldier who wrote the poem about the trees,” Norm answered.
A poem about trees? I wondered. Who is this Joyce Kilmer who wrote poetry about trees?
Joyce Kilmer was a sergeant in the 165th Infantry of the 42nd Division of the U.S. Army during World War I, killed in action in France on July 30, 1918. He is buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in Seringes-et-Nesles, France.
But he wasn’t just a soldier, he was a poet as well, and felt a kinship with trees that I have known my whole life. How could it have taken me this long to find him? If I have a doppelganger, then I believe that he is Joyce Kilmer.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
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.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this poem… It’s always been one of my favorites, because I too have always had a special kinship with trees. I didn’t realize he died fighting in WWI — so many sensitive souls lost to war.
Yes, but I think it is a consolation to him, perhaps, that he is surrounded by trees now, forever. ❤
Very, very true.
El Guapo said:
I’m very surprised that you have never come across Joyce Kilmer before – I though that poem was taught in every school around the world!
It is truly a classic.
And thanks for the extra info. I didn;t know he’d fought and died in WW1.
My husband believes that surely I must have heard it before. Either way, I was quite moved by it and was honored to pay my respects to him. ❤