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Trees | Melody Time

music by Oscar Rasbach, performed by Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians. Watch one of Disney masterpieces, a perfect harmony between words, music and animation. The poem, in twelve lines of rhyming couplets of iambic tetrameter verse, depicts a feminine personification of a tree pressing its mouth to the Earth's breast, looking at God, and raising its arms to pray.
 
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Trees lyrics (1913) by Alfred Joyce Kilmer (1886 1918)
I think that I shall never see
I think that I shall never see
  A poem lovely as a tree
A poem lovely as a tree
 
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
  Against the earth's sweet flowing breast
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast
 
A tree that looks at God all day
A tree that looks at God all day
  And lifts her leafy arms to pray
And lifts her leafy arms to pray
 
A tree that may in summer wear
A tree that may in summer wear
  A nest of robins in her hair
A nest of robins in her hair
 
Upon whose bosom snow has lain
Upon whose bosom snow has lain
  Who intimately lives with rain
Who intimately lives with rain
 
Poems are made by fools like me
Poems are made by fools like me
  But only God can make a tree
But only God can make a tree
Kilmer's poetry was influenced by his strong religious faith and dedication to the natural beauty of the world. Although several communities across the United States claim to have inspired "Trees", nothing can be established specifically regarding Kilmer's inspiration except that he wrote the poem while residing in Mahwah. Both Kilmer's widow, Aline, and his son, Kenton, refuted these claims in their correspondence with researchers and by Kenton in his memoir. Kenton wrote to University of Notre Dame researcher Dorothy Colson: "Mother and I agreed, when we talked about it, that Dad never meant his poem to apply to one particular tree, or to the trees of any special region. Just any trees or all trees that might be rained on or snowed on, and that would be suitable nesting places for robins. I guess they'd have to have upward-reaching branches, too, for the line about lifting leafy arms to pray. Rule out weeping willows." According to Kenton Kilmer, the upstairs room in which the poem was written looked down the hill over the family's "well-wooded lawn" that contained "trees of many kinds, from mature trees to thin saplings: oaks, maples, black and white birches, and I do not know what else." A published interview with Joyce Kilmer in 1915 mentioned the poet's large woodpile at the family's Mahwah home: "While Kilmer might be widely known for his affection for trees, his affection was certainly not sentimental-the most distinguished feature of Kilmer's property was a colossal woodpile outside his home. The house stood in the middle of a forest and what lawn it possessed was obtained only after Kilmer had spent months of weekend toil in chopping down trees, pulling up stumps, and splitting logs. Kilmer's neighbors had difficulty in believing that a man who could do that could also be a poet." Watch other songs of Melody Time (1948) movie
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