Friday, February 19, Absorbing Joyce Kilmer: It's not often that the office gets mail, let alone fan mail, let alone fan mail with photos, let alone fan mail about Joyce Kilmer with photos of the Joyce Kilmer Service Area in New Jersey pictured here. Talk about making us feel special! Here's that letter and our response.
February [ edit ] According to Kilmer's oldest son, Kenton, "Trees" was written on 2 Februarywhen the family resided in Mahwah, New Jerseyin the northwestern corner of Bergen County. The desk was in an upstairs room, by a window looking down a wooded hill.
It was written in a little notebook in which his father and mother wrote out copies of several of their poems and, in most cases, added the date of composition. On one page the first two lines of 'Trees' appear, with the date, February 2,and on another page, further on in the book, is the full text of the poem.
It was dedicated to his wife's mother, Mrs. Henry Mills Alden, who was endeared to all her family. Both Kilmer's widow, Aline, and his son, Kenton, refuted these claims in their correspondence with researchers and by Kenton in his memoir.
Mother and I agreed, when we talked about it, that Dad never meant his poem to apply to one particular tree, or to the trees of any special region.
Just any trees or all trees that might be rained on or snowed on, and that would be suitable nesting places for robins. I guess they'd have to have upward-reaching branches, too, for the line about 'lifting leafy arms to pray. The house stood in the middle of a forest and what lawn it possessed was obtained only after Kilmer had spent months of weekend toil in chopping down trees, pulling up stumps, and splitting logs.
Kilmer's neighbors had difficulty in believing that a man who could do that could also be a poet. 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. All but one of the lines has the full eight syllables of iambic tetrameter. The eleventh, or penultimate, line begins on the stressed syllable of the iambic foot and drops the unstressed syllable—an acephalous or "headless" catalectic line—that results in a truncated seven-syllable iambic tetrameter line.
Making the meter of a line catalectic can change the feeling of the poem, and is often used to achieve a certain effect as a way of changing tone or announcing a conclusion.
The tree of the poem also has human physical attributes—it has a "hungry mouth", arms, hair in which robins nestand a bosom. Winchell posits that if the tree described were to be a single human being it would be "an anatomically deformed one".
In the fourth stanza, the tree is a girl with jewels a nest of robins in her hair; and in the fifth, it is a chaste woman living alone with nature and with God.
There is no warrant in the poem to say that it is different trees that remind the poet of these different types of people. A Magazine of Verse.
EliotEzra PoundH. A Magazine of Verse;  when Trees and Other Poems was published the following year, the review in Poetry focused on the "nursery rhyme" directness and simplicity of the poems, finding a particular childlike naivety in "Trees", which gave it "an unusual, haunting poignancy".
A select few of his poems, including "Trees", are published frequently in anthologies. InEnglish professor Barbara Garlitz recounted that her undergraduate students considered the poem as "one of the finest poems ever written, or at least a very good one"—even after its technical flaws were discussed—because of its simple message and that it "paints such lovely pictures".
It comforted troops in the trenches of World War I. It was set to music and set in stone, declaimed in opera houses and vaudeville theaters, intoned at ceremonies each April on Arbor Day. Holliday added that this "exquisite title poem now so universally known made his reputation more than all the rest he had written put together" and was "made for immediate widespread popularity".
In the years after Kilmer's death, poetry went in drastically different directions, as is seen in the work of T. Eliot and Ezra Poundand academic criticism grew with it to eschew the more sentimental and straightforward verse.
New Criticism proponents analyzed poetry on its aesthetic formulae and excluded reader's response, the author's intention, historical and cultural contexts, and moralistic bias from their analysis. It praises God and appeals to a religious sentiment.
Therefore, people who do not stop to look at the poem itself or to study the images in the poem and think about what the poem really says, are inclined to accept the poem because of the pious sentiment, the prettified little pictures which in themselves appeal to stock responsesand the mechanical rhythm.
While the accounts of family members and of documents firmly establish Mahwah being the place where Kilmer wrote the poem, several towns throughout the country have claimed that Kilmer wrote "Trees" while staying there or that a specific tree in their town inspired Kilmer's writing.
Local tradition in Swanzey, New Hampshire asserts without proof that Kilmer wrote the poem while summering in the town.
Because it had been weakened by age and disease, the Kilmer Oak was removed inand in reporting by The New York Times and other newspapers the local tradition was repeated with the claim that "Rutgers said it could not prove that Kilmer had been inspired by the oak.
The remains of the original Kilmer Oak are presently kept in storage at Rutgers University. According to Dorothy Corson, the claim was first made by a priest named Henry Kemper. Trees were favorite symbols for Yeats, Frost, and even the young Pound.
But Kilmer had been reading about trees in another context[,] the movement to stop child labor and set up nursery schools in slums. The English word for gymnasium equipment is 'apparatus.Feb 19, · In a letter to Harriet Monroe, the poet Eloise Robinson, who worked for the Red Cross at the Front wrote that she was serving hot chocolate to soldiers one day that she tried to recite "a beautiful poem on trees by Joyce Kilmer" but couldn't remember the words.
The poem "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer is a celebration of the author's religious faith and the world's natural beauty, according to a biography of the author by the Poetry Foundation. Kilmer uses anthropomorphism to depict trees with human attributes to make the descriptions more recognizable to readers.
Kilmer gives praising attributes to the tree as if it were praising God. This poem also explains that trees are lovelier than a poem because any fool can write a poem, but only God can create a tree. The poem "Trees" uses a literary device called a couplet.
A couplet is two lines of poetry. Kilmer uses six different couplets. Trees 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 earths sweet flowing breast A tree that looks/5(). Stylistics Analysis on Poem “Trees” Joyce Kilmer By: Jomel B.
Manuel. Department of Arts and Humanities. College of Arts and Sciences. Cagayan State University, Carig Campus, Tugugarao City. Abstract. This paper aims to analyze Joyce Kilmer’s poem entitled “Trees” for the perspective of . Joyce’s word choice at the end of the poem show’s how much Joyce praises trees.
“Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree. This lines make you see that Joyce see’s trees as something very beautiful and the use of the word fools allows you to see that not anybody can make a tree.