Alfred Joyce Kilmer

Kilmer was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and he was killed in World War I on July 30, 1918, while serving as a sergeant in the 165th Infantry regiment. Every year, Kilmer's childhood home at 17 Joyce Kilmer Ave. in New Brunswick, the city holds it's annual Open House, is held from 10 am to 4 pm. Kilmer is best remembered for his poem, "Trees":

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.


As featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all.
Alfred Joyce Kilmer
Alfred Joyce Kilmer