Along with Earth Day appearing every year in late April, there is also National Arbor Day. This year it falls on Friday, April 27th. According to the Arbor Foundation it is “a time to celebrate the wonders of nature, and to plan for an even greener future by planting and caring for trees.”
I looked around for some poems about trees and found these. While one of these speaks fondly of a nearby city tree, the other tree poem dredges up some not so friendly vibes…
A London Plane-Tree
Green is the plane-tree in the square,
The other trees are brown;
They droop and pine for country air,
The plane-tree loves the town.
Here from my garret-pane I mark
The plan-tree bud and blow,
Shed her recuperative bark,
And spread her shade below.
Among her branches, in and out,
The city breezes play;
The dull fog wraps her round about;
Above, the smoke curls grey.
Others the country take for choice,
And hold the town in scorn;
But she has listen’d to the voice
On city breezes borne.
–by Amy Levy (1861-1889), British poet
Cut it Down
By a dim road, o’ergrown with dry thin grass,
A little straggling, wild, wind-beaten tree
Stood, like a sentry, where no feet might pass,
And storm-swept by the sea.
What was the secret of that lonely place?
Had some accursed thing gone by this way,
Leaving the horror of his evil face
On leaf and bough and spray?
I know not. But the very sunbeams took
The darkness of the gnarled and twisted stem;
The summer air those wrinkled leaves forsook
Nor ever played in them.
–by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge (1861-1907), British poet