In celebration of National Poetry Month the Jasper Project invited several artists, writers, and leaders in the Columbia arts community to share with us their favorite poems and most of them generously accepted.
We’ve put together this collection of our favorite poems and will be sharing them with you, poem by poem, day by day, over the month of April. Some of the poems are old and traditional, others are new and inventive. Some are whimsical, others are insightful. Some rhyme. Some don’t.
What they all have in common is that someone you know loves that poem – and this gives us such lovely insight into the soul of our community.
Thank you to everyone who shared their poetry with us.
And Happy National Poetry Month from Jasper.
The reason I like Trees by Joyce Kilmer:
My second grade class presented a special, springtime play, The Wizard of Oz. I was not selected for a speaking part. I was to stand in the background in a green pillowcase with green crepe paper attached to my arms (and the ink ran). I was a tree, not even a tree that got to throw an apple at Dorothy, just a plain-old-boring-tree-standing-still. I hated everything about it until the day of the performance. My mother took me aside and recited Trees by Joyce Kilmer. She then put me back in line to enter the stage and snapped a photo of me, smiling. The poem saved the day. It was alright to be a tree.
PS Since then, trees are pretty special too!
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.
Susan is an internationally renown fiber and installation artist based out of Columbia, SC.