Trees and Other Poems
is a collection of poems written by Joyce Kilmer
and published in 1914. Of the various poems included in the volume, "Trees
", which begins "I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree," is the poem for which Kilmer is best remembered.
The same year that this volume was published, Kilmer was abroad visiting England. Upon seeing the long lines of men waiting to enlist for WW I, he exclaimed, "My God, if I look at these boys much longer I'll have to hook on at the tail of this queue and join up with them!" Kilmer enlisted on 23 April 1917, shortly after America entered the war. He was killed on July 30, 1918—almost 100 years ago.
WITHIN the Jersey City shed
The engine coughs and shakes its head.
The smoke, a plume of red and white,
Waves madly in the face of night.
And now the grave incurious stars
Gleam on the groaning hurrying cars.
Against the kind and awful reign
Of darkness, this our angry train,
A noisy little rebel, pouts
Its brief defiance, flames and shouts—
And passes on, and leaves no trace.
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