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Reading through the poems of d’Verse I reflected how many poems that use trees as metaphors or simply describing the scene of beauty around a tree. I don’t think it’s a coincidence, humans have always felt a connection to forests and trees. Lacking trees in cityscapes fills many of us with depression.



In nordic mythology for instance the world’s center is a giant tree, Yggdrasil. We are all walking below its branches. It was also common in the farms of old Sweden to have a special tree that you took care of. As long as it flourished the family of the farm would flourish. I’m certain that we all grew up with tales of trees, maybe you could share them here with us. Among buddhists the story of the Bodhi tree where Gautama Buddha found enlightment means that such trees are planted outside most buddhist monestaries.

The trees are also the home for birds and beast of all kind. Mythology is filled with dryad, fairies and gnomes. Treat them well and you prosper, make them angry, and revenge is grim. If anyone is into Tolkien we all remember what happens to the destoyers of trees.

Trees have also provided winter food for cattle, orchards provide us with fruits and honey, and not least, the poets paper was once a tree in a faraway forest.

Pollard willow by Vincent van Gogh-

Pollard willow by Vincent van Gogh-

Trees have been also been used for more sinister purposes through history, hangings and lynchings for instance, and many villages are filled with haunting stories of the old lonely oaks- Just listening to Billie Holiday singing “Strange Fruits” make me shudder when I look at the bare winter branches of winter oaks. I’m sure there is history in those old trees they prefer to forget.

The seasons and the trees are also subjects to write about. Which haiku poet have not written about cherry blossoms? For instance in the haiku by Basho:

The oak tree stands
noble on the hill even in
cherry blossom time

Many of the kigo (seasonwords) of haiku poetry are trees.

The season’s change is a great reason to bring out the palette and use all colors available. Like Emily Dickinson wrote:

Frequently the woods are pink—
Frequently are brown.
Frequently the hills undress
Behind my native town.
Oft a head is crested
I was wont to see—
And as oft a cranny
Where it used to be—
And the Earth— they tell me—
On its Axis turned!
Wonderful Rotation!
By but twelve performed!

I hope I have given enough inspiration to write tree poetry. Let’s make dVerse an Arboretum of tree stories.

My name is Björn, and I’m you host for dVerse Poetics tonight.

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