April 30, is Arbor Day, a tree planting holiday first recognized in the United States on January 4, 1872. Trees suffuse the landscape of Eden Prairie and are constantly, if quietly, a matter of news.
Currently in Eden Prairie, the removal of trees is an aspect of potential legal action and debate between development and conservation efforts at the Noble Hills project, under threat from insect pests, symbols of community hope, subjects of a devastating diminishment of the planet’s wild places, an outdoor escape from the day after day slog and homebound pandemic blur, and a blanket of life covering the tracks of the past.
And today, accompanied by Joyce Kilmer’s 1913 simple poem “Trees” the trees of Eden Prairie are the subject of EPLN photographer Kelly Regan’s keen eye and photographs. According to Kilmer’s Wikipedia page the poem was dedicated to Kilmer’s mother-in-law.
Five years later, Kilmer, was killed by a sniper’s bullet at the Second Battle of the Marne during World War I. He was 31 years old.
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.
– Joyce Kilmer