Friday, November 6, 2015
That’s it; I’m running out of material. I’ve blogged anything interesting I’ve ever done. I’ve blogged any thought in my head. I’ve blogged almost any opinion I’ve ever had, and since I have now ruled out posts on religion or politics, there is nothing left.
I should have led a crazier life…if only I knew in the future I would need material for a blog.
So I need inspiration from other bloggers. Manzanita from “Wanna Buy A Duck” http://beajayblock.blogspot.com/2015/11/when-is-tree-not-tree.html today mourned the loss of an old friend, a shade tree in her yard; it got me to thinking of Joyce Kilmer.
Joyce Kilmer was a famous poet about 100 years ago. He was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey which is around the corner from where I live. You cannot go far in New Brunswick, New Jersey without seeing some road or strip mall which pays homage to Joyce Kilmer.
I Googled him today. Perhaps he is not quite as famous as I thought because I only found out today, that Joyce was a he, not a she.
Anyway, what is interesting to me is what made Joyce Kilmer famous. I’m sure he was a man of many accomplishments, and a prolific poet who published lots of stuff, but getting down to brass tacks he is known for one thing, a poem, a very short poem, a very good poem, apparently a great poem. Still, it is just a poem.
In the last 100 years I am sure there have been many great people born in this area of New Jersey. We have some great hospitals, surely many wonderful doctors and surgeons have come from this area of Central New Jersey. I know many fine athletes have come from this area. Joe Theisman is a local lad; I don’t think there is even a road named after him. Michael Douglas was born in New Brunswick; there are no strip malls in his name. There must also be some fine authors, and captains of industry, yet the most famous resident if you go by having stuff named after you, is hands down, Joyce Kilmer.
Fame is a funny thing. It is not always a measure of greatness, or production, or a contribution to society. Sometimes it is just something simple. Something that just sticks with people for some reason. Joyce Kilmer probably produced some wonderful poems, I would imagine Rutgers English professors could spend a semester on his works, but face it, he wrote one poem that resonated with a lot of people; 67 words arranged in a pleasant sequence that has made him immortal in the New Brunswick, New Jersey area.
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 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.
However, I have to say, It is a good fucking poem!