“Planting the Tree” Henry Abbey

Here is a delightful poem that I came across as we moved books this weekend.  It was a refreshing antidote to the overly simplistic message of “The Lorax” which we had just watched.  Although a funny movie it seems to portray that the very act of cutting down a tree is evil.  We do want our children to care for the world around them.   That means planting and caring for trees, of course, but at times it might also mean chopping a tree down and carving it into something it never could have been on its own.

Watercolor

“Planting the Tree”

by Henry Abbey

(from Elson-Gray Basic Readers Book Six, 1936)

What do we plant when we plant the tree?

We plant the ship, which will cross the sea.

We plant the mast to carry the sails;

We plant the planks to withstand the gales –

The keep, the keelson, and beam, and knee;

We plant the ship when we plant the tree.

What do we plant when we plant the tree?

We plant the houses for you and me.

We plant the rafters, the shingles, the floors;

We plant the studdings, the laths, the doors,

The beams and siding, all parts that be;

We plant the house when we plant the tree.

What do we plant when we plant the tree?

A thousand things that we daily see;

We plant the spire that out-towers the crag,

We plant the staff for our country’s flag,

We plant the shade, from the hot sun free;

We plant all these when we plant the tree.

(My painting was based off of a photograph in “The Sierra Club Guide to Close-Up Photography in Nature” by Tim Fitzharris)

Advertisements

About Rebecca

Christian, artist, wife, mother, teacher, tea drinker View all posts by Rebecca

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: