Saturday, April 16, 2022

Loveliest of Trees


Yesterday, my poem witnessed the insect apocalypse. Today, a different kind of witnessing. The kind that gives me hope: Spring is returning, and the redbuds are in bloom. 

I distinctly remember the first time I saw a redbud blooming. I was walking across the OSU campus after a spring rain. At first, I was amazed to hear the sound of water being sucked into the ground! But then a small tree near the sidewalk caught my eye and I could NOT believe what I saw -- there were blooms coming right out of the bark on the branches! In that moment, redbuds became my favorite spring tree

A.E. Houseman's Loveliest of Trees is one of my favorite spring poems. I have it memorized, and I recite it every spring to remind myself to witness this season of rebirth as if it might be the last one I ever see.

"...loving this vanishing world feels like a kind of prayer sometimes." p.263-264 in ALL WE CAN SAVE


  1. Love the ending, Mary Lee. It was my mother's favorite tree, too. For me, spring is here when the red-winged blackbirds return. I was at the lake today, not yet!

  2. A NY acquaintance recently crowed, "It's stick season!" We don't have as many redbuds growing in profusion this far West, so they remain an even greater Event - bare sticks suddenly suffused with color. Swoony sigh.