Thursday, February 22, 2007

Why Do We Weep For Trees?

A bit ago I posted about the neighbors taking a limb off our oak tree Please understand that their reasons may have been sound: thin grass, obstructed view. Still I mourned and imagined that so too did the squirrel who napped there in the daytime. A gentle soul in Wales recently witnessed the destruction of a very old friend. Why do we mourn these entities, these mere plants? This Robert Frost poem doesn't answer the question, but it uses the interesting attachment we make to trees to good effect. Don't you think?

Tree at My Window
by Robert Lee Frost

Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.


Laurie said...

The poem and photo are beautiful Cathy. Thank you.

Patrice said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, Cathy.

Mary said...

Very nice poem, Cathy. It reminds me of the grief I felt when we drove back to our old neighborhood and found that the new owners of our house cut down a pin oak in the front hard. It was my daughter's "first birthday" tree.

Cathy said...

Oh Mary - Owwww.

Bonita said...

Beautiful poem, Cathy. Once, when we were house hunting about 25 years ago, I saw a big poplar out in the front of a little house. It seemed to guard the dwelling, and stood so joyous and firm. That tree was the focalpoint of my morning meditations for 5 years.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, I know the poem and yes it came to mind during the 'oak tree days'. Today we three managed a small walk along the rier path and I went hunting for oak seedlings! Found some suitable transplants so will go back with trowel and bag when I'm up to it then bring them on in long pots to be planted somewhere safe next year - maybe I should give one along with the photos:0)
Hope your travelling is safe and the sun does greet you.