Daily Archives: December 3, 2011

A Poem as Lovely as a Tree – An Oak Ponders Oak-Wilt


Possibly  this one would choose something by Arthur Rimbaud,

“True, the new era is nothing if not harsh.

“For I can say that I have gained a victory; the gnashing of teeth, the hissing of hellfire, the stinking sighs subside. All my monstrous memories are fading. My last longings depart, – jealousy of beggars, bandits, friends of death, all those that the world passed by. – Damned souls, if I were to take vengance!

“One must be absolutely modern.

“Never mind hymns of thanksgiving: hold on to a step once taken. A hard night! Dried blood smokes on my face, and nothing lies behind me but that repulsive little tree!… The battle for the soul is as brutal as the battles of men; but the sight of justice is the pleasure of God alone.

“Yet this is the watch by night. Let us all accept new strength, and real tenderness. And at dawn, armed with glowing patience, we will enter the cities of glory.”  From ‘Farewell’ by Arthur Rimbaud

Or Baudelaire:

“— Enjoyment fortifies desire.
Desire, old tree fertilized by pleasure,
While your bark grows thick and hardens,
Your branches strive to get closer to the sun!

“Will you always grow, tall tree more hardy
Than the cypress? — However, we have carefully
Gathered a few sketches for your greedy album,
Brothers who think lovely all that comes from afar!”

From ‘Flowers of Evil’, ‘The Voyage’,  by Charles Baudelaire

Or Edgar Allen Poe:

The breeze—the breath of God—is still—
And the mist upon the hill,
Shadowy—shadowy—yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token—
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!

From ‘Spirits of the Dead’, by Edgar Allen Poe

My own saga with Oak Wilt and this particular tree is sung in these past posts:

Oak Wilt, Firewood and Sawmilling

For Want of a Nail – Something Worth Knowing Chainsaw-wise

Outsmarted by a Dead Tree

I’d written about possibly trying to salvage some of it for sawmilling, but that’s not in the cards:

The interior of the trunk is riddled by cracks caused by the rapid shrinkage.

Oak Wilt came on it fast from the roots.  By the time anything showed topside the tree was evidently already dead. 

Arthur Rimbaud, Charlie Baudelaire and E.A. Poe should have put their heads together and written something immortal about how to get the rest of it down.  The job has the potential for being right there in the target zone for their kind of writing.  It’s going to be a booger-bear any way I cut it.

Old Jules

Everything else being equal I think I favor pines:


All that tree-stuff hanging up there leads me to think our songsters are too humanocentric about hanging trees.