Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday's Poetry: "Trees"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

I have been digging in the dirt for a couple of weeks now, with some successes and one notable failure. Failure first: the beautiful standard lemon tree that I plugged into my front yard died. I don't know why, it just did. I guess trees are like all living things, including people, and sometimes they just die. Fortunately, I bought it from a large chain store, and all I had to do was dig "Baby" up and haul it back to the store.

The successes: The two red grapefruit trees that I planted are doing well, thank you very much, as is the tangelo tree. And yesterday, joy of joys, I came across a small kumquat tree that is just perfect for the extra-large flower pot that I bought on spec a few months ago. I dug up a nasty bush that I never liked, and replanted it out of the way - and where the bush did sit, now the potted kumquat rules! I love fresh kumquats and it is so rare that I ever come across any. But now...

So it is fitting that tonight I recognize trees with a couple of classic poems. The first is Joyce Kilmer's immortal Trees, and it is followed by a humorous rejoinder from Ogden Nash.

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 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.

To which the sardonic Ogden Nash replied:

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.

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