A Poem for National Arbor Day

Apr 28, 2017 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


Today is National Arbor Day, a day that recognizes the significance of trees in our world. It is a day to enjoy outside, perhaps by planting a tree. First officially celebrated in Nebraska in 1872, it has gradually spread across the fifty states and throughout the world. J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, shared his vision when he said, “[H]ow much more enduring are the animate trees of our planting. They grow and self-perpetuate themselves and shed yearly blessings on our race.”

Joyce Kilmer, the poet who wrote “Trees,” would wholeheartedly agree. Enjoy this poem, which is included in Level Two of Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization, and share the Student Page and audio with your children. It is a written testimony to the beauty and grace of a tree.


By Joyce Kilmer


I think that I shall never see

A poem as lovely as a tree.

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.

It’s such a lovely poem, and it fittingly marks this special day as well as the conclusion of National Poetry Month. The next time you venture outside, take note of the trees surrounding you. You never know. Perhaps they will inspire you to write your own poem or story about trees!

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