I think that I shall never read
A tree of any shape or breed -
For all its xylem and its phloem -
As fascinating as a poem.
Trees must make themselves and so
They tend to seem a little slow
To those accustomed to the pace
Of poems that speed through time and space
As fast as thought. We shouldn't blame
The trees, of course: we'd be the same
If we had roots instead of brains.
While trees just grow, a poem explains,
By precept and example, how
Leaves develop on the bough
And new ideas in the mind.
A sensibility refined
By reading many poems will be
More able to admire a tree
Than lumberjacks and nesting birds
Who lack a poet's way with words
And tend to look at any tree
In terms of its utility.
And so before we give our praise
To pines and oaks and laurels and bays,
We ought to celebrate the poems
That made our human hearts their homes.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thomas M. Disch, RIP
I'm still on the road, so I have no time to write anything elaborate. I was very saddened to find that classic science fiction author Thomas M. Disch died by his own hand shortly before I left home. (Hat-tip to 2 Blowhards here.) I have been a fan of his ever since my old friend Marc Kummel (alias Treebeard) loaned me his copy of Camp Concentration, circa 1972. One thing that blognotes about Disch sometimes fail to mention is that Disch was a delightful poet -- and that, always the contrarian, he wrote poems that scanned and rhymed. He was an ardent champion of "the new formalism" (ie., poems that scan and rhyme). A delightful example is this parody of Kilmer's Trees.