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Analysis and comments on Trees by Joyce Kilmer

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Comment 22 of 172, added on June 2nd, 2005 at 6:09 PM.

Kilmer was a soldier. He fought with valour as a sergeant in the
American Expeditionary Force during World War I and saw the horrors of that
Great War.
Yet he was unbowed. He still knew beauty and lyric, gifts easily lost
in war. He wrote this poem, perhaps, as the samurai composed haiku before
going into battle.

Brendan Webber from Canada
Comment 21 of 172, added on May 29th, 2005 at 8:19 AM.

This poem has lasted almost 100 years and still connects with our hearts
when we read it. There is a huge Garry Oak near my house that caused me to
remember this poem which I had not read for many years. So happy to see it
is on the Internet!!!

Julie Morgana from Canada
Comment 20 of 172, added on May 20th, 2005 at 9:45 PM.

This is a good example that many, many folks like warm
fuzzy piety in their poems. This is true of many Catholics and Kilmer was
one. For many, many people religious piety is attractive as a reassuring
On the other hand, it is reasssuring how many, many
people really love trees and other manifestations of
nature in spite of the fact that our culture is so hostile to nature. This
set of pleasing couplets is
as anthropomorphic toward a tree as most humans are
with their Gods. (Not just Christians, but Hebrews,
Arabs, and oodles of ancient pagans including the Romans and Greeks.It's
quite common, if not universal.)
I, too, love trees, am a defender of our National Forests, and have an
Indian name of Livingtree. Kilmer's partly human tree has robins in her
hair, a
breast with snow on it, lives intimately unsheltered
with the rain, hungrily presses her mouth to suck the
sweetness of the ground she stands on, and prays with
outstretched leafy arms which have no axillary hair
where they branch from her trunk. True, humans so far
can't make a tree and still leave that to whichever God
they fear and respect, though cloning may already have happened since
Kilmer's time. As for comparisons, comparing nature's features with the
human art of poetry is a perfect instance of "comparing apples and
oranges." Trouble is, I fear many people who dearly
dote over Kilmer's lines may not give a rip about the
rampant forest destruction going on around the bent
world. Finally, there is the put-down of us poor human
fools who pour our puny creative impulses into the
various arts and sciences.....Kilmer's widowed young
wife, Aline, actually wrote a superb lyric on the loss of her husband in WW
I and buried in a military cemetery in France. Look for it, "I Shall Not Be

Greg Foote from United States
Comment 19 of 172, added on May 14th, 2005 at 11:21 AM.

did you know that paul robeson recorded this as a song?
you'll never regret listening to it.
analysis is unnecessary- it's all so self-explanatory.
in england -- look at an oak
in north america --look at the redwood
Every country has an example of its very own.
while looking , relax - then recite the poem and then ponder - you'll
find the Hand Of God.
Take It and enjoy the rest of your life.

michael from United Kingdom
Comment 18 of 172, added on May 10th, 2005 at 8:40 AM.


Comment 17 of 172, added on May 8th, 2005 at 3:21 PM.

this poem is amazingly beautiful.Can anyone tell me where I can find info
to analize it, I need to teach it to my class but I don't know much about
it. I'm in the 8th grade can anyone help?

kimberly from United States
Comment 16 of 172, added on April 29th, 2005 at 8:28 PM.

Just going back in time thru my 1940's Prose & Poetry School book and
remembering how we had to memorize and then recite this beautiful poem. My
wife and I are both in our 80's and yet this poem still rings to us with
such grace. Doak Ramsey, Greeneville, TN

WILLIAM Doak Ramsey from United States
Comment 15 of 172, added on April 27th, 2005 at 6:43 PM.

I first heard this poem in high school in New Brunswick, NJ, Kilmer's
hometown, in the early 60's. For some reason I always remembered the first
two lines and the last line! I had forgotten what beauty laid in between.

Don Burke from United States
Comment 14 of 172, added on February 2nd, 2005 at 2:41 PM.

i think it is a good poem and i like the ryming couplets the subject is a
bit stange. i lke how it talks about trees as though there poems

bob from United Kingdom
Comment 13 of 172, added on January 29th, 2005 at 8:37 PM.

I was stunned by the beauty of this poem when I read it first time. This
certainly is, one of the most beautiful poems I have ever read.

Rao from United States

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Information about Trees

Poet: Joyce Kilmer
Poem: 3. Trees
Volume: Trees and Other Poems
Year: 1914
Added: Aug 7 2004
Viewed: 1379 times

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