“I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree . . . “
The beginning of Joyce Kilmer’s famous poem, written in 1913, five years before Kilmer was killed in action as a member of the 69th Infantry Regiment. Many a student has probably memorized the poem at one time or another.
Leave it to the innovation of the Great War to include a tree and make it a tool of war.
Leave it to the armies to challenge the last stanza of Kilmer’s poem:
“Poems are made by fools like me / But only God can make a tree.”