Sunday, July 22, 2007

Poetry + Tree Identification Group!

We've started a new Friday group: Poetry + Tree Identification!

Our first meeting was great: The poet of the week was that great New York (West Greenwich Village) poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Her poem "City Trees" was a natural for our purposes:

City Trees
The trees along this city street
Save for the traffic and the trains,
Would make a sound as thin and sweet
As trees in country lanes.

And people standing in their shade
Out of a shower, undoubtedly
Would hear such music as is made
Upon a country tree.

Oh, little leaves that are so dumb
Against the shrieking city air,
I watch you when the wind has come,--
I know what sound is there.

Personally, I'm a big fan of the "My candle burns at both ends" Millay, but candles and trees don't mix!!

Poem in hand, we high-tailed it to the lovely Time Landscape garden (corner of West Houston & Laguardia), where we read the poem, then whipped out our handy New York City Tree Identication Guide book, and strolled the garden, correctly identifying a few elms, a cypress, and a ... hmm... um... what the heck is that tree? It looked like a Witch Hazel, but closer examination showed a more jagged-edged leaf. Two days of research by the wonderful Linda and finally, we recognized--but, of course!--it was a Beak Hazel tree.

Why the sudden interest in trees? Well, besides the fact that they're there, generally longer than most of us, Tree Identification is a great hobby that you can do alone or in groups! So, let's say your poetry group partner(s) can't make it one week--no big deal!--you just jog out to the nearest park and use that now-free time to identify trees!

We're sticking with Edna for next week's session, trying to understand her poem "MacDougal Street"--a weird piece that has multiple interwoven voices seemingly talking about completely different things. Hey, just like most conversations between two people!

If you're in the area next Friday before 5, drop by LaPalette at 50 MacDougal Street (get the connection?) where we'll discuss the poem, before moving on to the Northwest corner of Washington Square Park.

Photo by Hubert J Steed. Visit his great website full of pictures of New York City by clicking here.

1 comment:

wendi said...

sounds like wonderful fun! I think I'll try this here in Oregon...