little tree

little silent Christmas tree

you are so little

you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest

and were you very sorry to come away?

see i will comfort you

because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark

and hug you safe and tight

just as your mother would,

only don’t be afraid

look the spangles

that sleep all the year in a dark box

dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,

the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms

and i’ll give them all to you to hold

every finger shall have its ring

and there won’t a single place dark or unhappy

then when you’re quite dressed

you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see

and how they’ll stare!

oh but you’ll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands

and looking up at our beautiful tree

we’ll dance and sing

“Noel Noel”

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem Little Tree


  1. Buddy Sattva says:

    I think Alyssa forgot that the speaker is a child. That explains the simplicity and the lack of some profound “commentary” on Christmas trees. The child sees only the beauty of the tree and the decorations and the shining moment they share. And we are reminded that we, too, can share in this beauty by seeing the tree as a child would.

    Elena may be thinking of the setting of this poem by Eric Whitacre. Like all his work, this is a beautiful composition. You can hear it on youtube.

  2. bgfzd says:

    so pwnful

  3. Mick Day says:

    how sad for alyssa to miss what is essential in the poem. It is invisible to the eye.

  4. Elena says:

    This poem was turned into a song (SATB) and it is absolutley beautiful. Sounds as if a little child is singing. Loved it and hope it will open more people up to e.e cummings.

  5. Liz says:

    i’ve always felt so sad for those christmas trees and reading e e cummings’ poem about that same feeling makes me appreciate his work even more. i had never thought about the tree decorations in their boxes all year, but when one thinks about it, they are preparing for one great, shining moment – i feel that many see the winter holiday season in this way- the sadness and confusion and the glitter…

  6. angela says:

    Thsi is a great poem. I am a 11 year old who is studying e.e. cummings and this poem is perfect. It is not dull or confusing.

  7. Karen says:

    this is suchh a cool poem!! it fits just right! even though its not christmas..

  8. nothin says:

    This poem is one of the few poems that is very sweet, but not too dramatic or boring. It’s a good example of a non-rhyming poem (some non-rhyming poems are very dull but this one is very good)

  9. Lauren F says:

    this poem makes me think of little girls in my room

  10. Irene says:

    I studied this moving poem in the first year of middle school – just 40 years ago!!! – this year a pupil of mine that is from Russia, told the class a traditional poem of her country that has the same topic… a little tree, when is brought home is crying (ice is turning into water) but when children cover it with decorations, it is bright and sparkling again! – I was so surprised and moved… and went looking for this old poem that I had forgot in a remote corner of my heart…

  11. almas says:

    I like it, it is nice. 🙂

  12. Sophia says:

    i plan to place the poem on every home-made xmas card i make. it’s such a pretty poem.

  13. Tina says:

    This has got to be my absolute favorite Christmas poem. Cummings has such a way of making you cry out for the tree, like it is your own child, and then be so happy for it at the same time. It makes me think of a someone holding on to something they’ve got and never wanting to let it go, but knowing it will be better off on its own.

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