Sunday, December 6, 2009


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.

- Joyce Kilmer

"One thing that intrigued Kilmer, and possibly all others who would take time to reflect on that marvelous creation,
is the tree's constant and intimate communication with God. As he states ' A tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray'
Before such a powerfully reverent creation, Kilmer can only sense his own inadequacy and weakness. We humans can produce wonderful, eloquent
poetry; but what is a poem that emerges from our frail quills compared to the timeless wisdom and inspiring beauty embodied in a tree, a simple yet infinitely
complex creation wrought by the hand of God?"

Have you not seen how God sets forth a parable?
A good word is like a good tree whose roots are firm
and whose branches reach heaven.
It gives its fruit during every season, by leave of its Lord.
And God sets forth parables to people
that they may be reminded. [14:24-25]

Commentary by Imam Zaid Shakir
"Scattered Pictures: Reflections of an American Muslim"
(pages 99-101)

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