TREE OF HEAVEN, a poem by Rita Janice Traub, USA from VoicesNet.com

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TREE OF HEAVEN, a poem by Rita Janice Traub, USA

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Nature Poems & Rhyming Poetry

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Author:

Rita Janice Traub, USA

Poem

TREE OF HEAVEN

The young ailanthus tree grew in a narrow yard
behind a row house in a block that faced the boulevard.
You knew with just a glance it never would grow tall,
and yet its wagging shadow loomed immense upon the wall.
It quavered in a breeze. It tottered in a blast.
I’d see it battered to the earth after a storm had passed.
Yet always it would rise, and to its limbs would cling
wet heavy snows in wintertime and half-grown cats in spring.
In summer, lush and green, it seemed to dance and smile
as though it were a jacaranda on some tropic isle.
I grew along with it. In our hot yard I played
beside that tree of heaven, and I rested in its shade.
With eager multi-fingered hands it reached out ever higher
till one day they attained the height of the high tension wire.
And still another day, urban renewal came,
all of the houses with their trees leveling in its name.
Nobody else would know, in viewing the debris,
that here once lived a family, and there once stood a tree.
Together we were young, in many ways akin,
and so I mourn the emptiness where once a tree had been;
and, facing harsh adversity, I yearn to be imbued
with something that I sorely need, ailanthus fortitude.
///

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Responses from Visitors and Members about this Poem
FromComment about poem or authorResponse CountryResponse Added
Site MonitorLook at all of the commentsUSA9/30/2013 1:17:49 AM
Joshua CoeThis is amazing. Imagery at its finest!USA9/30/2013 1:06:34 AM
Rita TraubDear pearl 021: I'm so happy to read your posting and to know that you liked "Tree of Heaven." Your kind note was very cheering and uplifting. I never dreamed when I submitted this poem that it would touch the lives of so many people in a favorable way. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LETTING ME KNOW!USA2/1/2011 9:31:40 AM
pearl 021i like the poemPhilippines2/1/2011 7:42:38 AM
Rita Janice TraubTo anmol seksaria and to Pattra Shuwaswat -- I greatly appreciate the kind words each of you wrote regarding "Tree of Heaven." Your praise means a great deal to me. I am amazed that my rhyme about a tree from childhood reached far away from the old backyard to touch your lives for a little while and motivate you to post your reactions. Many thanks! USA7/4/2010 9:29:28 AM
Pattra ShuwaswatRita great descriptive connect with natural ability wonderful creations and congratulation for 2 Stars Finalist .Thank you for sharing Netherlands7/4/2010 6:23:05 AM
anmol seksarianice and very helpful and easy to findindia7/4/2010 3:02:47 AM
Rita Janice TraubThank you, falguni malpani, for praising "Tree of Heaven." I very much appreciate your kind words about both language and presentation! USA6/27/2010 8:44:44 AM
falguni malpanii like the poem excellent language , beautifully presented.INDIA6/27/2010 2:59:14 AM
Rita Janice TraubAngel Schmidt, thanks so much for taking the time to comment favorably on "Tree of Heaven." I suppose it is nostalgic. Some portions of my old neighborhood haven't changed at all, I'm told; they're completely intact. However, our entire block (a residential block on a commercial street) was torn down, and I understand a light rail line now runs where our house and yard (and tree) once were. I greatly appreciate your kind words.USA6/3/2010 6:29:04 PM
Angel SchmidtVery nice.. I enjoyed it, made me think back and remember an old house in my past that no longer exists..just memories.. Thanks USA6/3/2010 5:22:24 PM
Rita Janice TraubTo Judith Manchini: Thanks very much for posting your kind comment about "Tree of Heaven." I'm glad you liked it. I deeply appreciate your kind words.USA5/4/2010 9:03:32 AM
Judith ManchiniThank you Rita. I really enjoyed your poem... Tree of Heaven. USA5/3/2010 6:12:32 PM
Rita Janice TraubTo Lee Emmett, thank you for your words of praise about "Tree of Heaven." Your comment reached me at a time when the obstacles are even greater (health problems in our family), so your kindness is all the more appreciated.USA4/24/2010 11:46:44 AM
Lee Emmettwonderful interlacing of tree and personal growth ... deservedly a winner, Rita ... congratulations!Australia4/24/2010 10:09:26 AM
Rita Janice TraubI am LATE in this acknowledgment because I didn't know about it till very recently. This is to Poet Charles, who read "Tree of Heaven" (a lot better than I could have): The audio is truly superior, and I think you read the poem beautifully, and your voice and delivery are delightful. I'm thrilled and very grateful to you. THANK YOU SO MUCH!USA3/29/2010 10:26:34 AM
Rita Janice TraubTo Connie M Faust, you say that you too have had fond relationships with special trees, so I know you understand well what I was trying to say in "Tree of Heaven." I especially like your reference to "urban renewal carnage" because that's all too often what it turns out to be. Thank you so much for your praise and congratulations!USA3/9/2010 10:41:39 AM
Connie M FaustRita, this is an amazing poem, evoking all the hope and comfort provided by the persistent neighborhood tree, and all the emptiness and sense of loss from the urban renewal carnage. I mourn with you, for I have had fond relationships with a few special trees. Congratulations on being A Winner! ConnieUSA3/9/2010 9:53:48 AM
Rita Janice TraubThank you so much, Rug! I had the impression that our little tree was eager to catch up with some of the larger trees in the area, loved to grow and expand, kept reaching for the sky. It was a hopeful and optimistic tree, I thought. I suppose I bestowed human characteristics on trees. At any rate, I very much appreciate your input and kind comment!USA3/7/2010 5:50:01 PM
RugIt's a wonderfully written story. The line: With eager, multi-fingered hands it reached out ever higher. Makes my brain very happy! Amazing!England3/7/2010 4:53:07 PM
Rita Janice TraubThank you very much, Akhil Srivastava, for posting your kind comment (and wish!) about "Tree of Heaven." What you said is greatly appreciated!USA3/6/2010 9:09:44 AM
Akhil Srivastavawell deserved poem I wish the urbans you had flapped on your poem would have understood the creepy tree India3/6/2010 6:36:02 AM
Rita Janice TraubThank you very much, Iana. I appreciate the kind things you said about "Tree of Heaven." Yes, the tree and I seemed to share a lot of experiences; we grew up together. It also made me feel good to know that there are people like you around who enjoy rhyme scheme and meter. So do I. The poems I remember best tend to be the ones that rhyme rather than free verse ones. Rhyming is definitely unpopular (read unpublishable) these days. I just had a poem rejected by a publication whose editors (four in number) were "distracted" by the fact that the poem rhymed though it flowed effortlessly. If we as a society are so anti-rhyme, why not burn everything written by Tennyson, by Poe, by the majority of 18th and 19th and a good many 20th Century English language poets? (Even a few excellent poet rhymers in the 21st!) I know I'm bucking the trend by resorting to rhyme in some poems. Rhyming seems to be, for the most part, downright offensive in this era. I'm very grateful to the VoicesNet.org judges who apparently didn't find the rhyme distracting. Thank you again!USA3/5/2010 9:39:26 AM
IanaI really enjoyed this poem. It sounds to me that the poet is speaking about a persomal experience which took place in the tree and in their growth. Moreover, I especially enjoyed the allusion, rhyme scheme and meter within the poet. Keep up the good workBahamas3/4/2010 10:19:50 PM
Rita Janice TraubTo Brume Jabs, I truly appreciate your congratulations on "Tree of Heaven." And I also thank you for your kind wish regarding those rubies!USA3/1/2010 6:33:41 PM
Brume JabsLove it. Congratulations. More rubies to your crownNigeria3/1/2010 3:09:56 PM
Rita Janice TraubThank you, Maria Masood, for your favorable response to "Tree of Heaven." Thank you for your praise and for your kind words. I'm glad you liked it and related to it. I can hardly believe that this poem (written for the most part when I was very young) has received such welcome comments by poets worldwide. Thank you, Maria!USA2/28/2010 9:54:13 AM
Maria MasoodAfter reading your poem i just come to know why you are the winner.So beautifully you have weaven your desperate thought in the form ,the emotions what you have experienced we can feel same through your narrative skills .And this is the art of poet to stirr the reader's emotion by his excellence of expression. You did it Marvellously really an excellent piece of art.India2/27/2010 10:43:32 PM
Rita Janice TraubThank you very much for your kind note, Aditi K.! I'm glad you liked "Tree of Heaven." I confess that when I posted the poem, I didn't realize my narrative would evoke so much empathy from so many sources. I even hesitated to submit it, thinking people generally despised trees of heaven too much to react favorably. I'm glad I was wrong. Thanks again!USA2/25/2010 9:28:18 AM
Aditi Kwell, very touching poem.. i liked it alt :)India2/24/2010 9:55:19 PM
Rita Janice TraubTo Elizabeth Squires of Australia, many thanks for your congratulations on "Tree of Heaven." Your kindness is greatly appreciated!USA2/24/2010 9:01:05 PM
Elizabeth SquiresCongratulations Rita,on writing such a fine poem!Australia2/24/2010 7:02:30 PM
Rita Janice TraubSpecial special thanks to Estrella Gada! Estrella, I must have somehow missed your enthusiastic congratulations as well as your lavish praise of "Tree of Heaven." I don't think my poetry has ever been paid a more delightful and welcome compliment. Thank you!!!USA2/21/2010 9:10:56 PM
Rita Janice TraubThank you, Khadera Nargis and Thelma Zaracostas, for your contratulatory comments regarding "Tree of Heaven." I especially enjoy your own narratives, your insights, your own memories -- whether it be an ailanthus tree or some similar charming tree or bush or anything else from your past which is still in your memory and still is meaningful to you today and relevant to your everyday life (whether it be all happy, all sad, or a combination of both, as with me). Your kind words are deeply appreciated. Again, THANK YOU!USA2/20/2010 9:49:44 PM
Thelma Zaracostas, Rita your poem brought many happy memories of the tree in my garden where my daughter would sit with her little dog writing her stories and poems she loved that tree,always said she felt close to god,congratulations on your winning the January competionAustralia2/19/2010 6:34:04 AM
Khadera NargisCONGRATES DEAR RITA SO NICE YOU HAVE GOT THE FIRST POSITION.REALLY GREAT JOBIndia2/18/2010 12:19:42 PM
Rita Janice TraubThank you, Moody Mudiaga and Kristine Trudeau, for your kind words about the poem -- and also for your remarkable insights. Kristine, I can almost picture that rock. The rock and tree together must have been really enchanting. Moody, your words ring truer than you may think. I deeply appreciate everything the two of you have said, together with the input of the other poets -- I very much wanted to contact Nancy Crossland and kept writing to ask how I could reach her -- it was she who was first to praise the poem. USA2/18/2010 9:54:17 AM
Estrella GadaThis is like the most beautiful poem i have ever read! Its imagery just reached out and grabbed me!Rita,you deserve the title of winnerNigeria2/18/2010 7:22:22 AM
Moody MudiagaWhile reading, I felt the poem touching me with a hand. Expression is complete, emotion is alive. It seemed like the story of your life...but I percieved an analogy...and took the hint. Rita, congratulations!Nigeria2/18/2010 1:21:24 AM
Kristine TrudeauRita: I love your poem. There's a Tree of Heaven in the backyard of my grandmother's house where we once lived ourselves. We kids played King of the Mountain on a large rock beneath the tree. Grandma gave me that rock just before she was moved to a nursing home. The rock now sits in my yard. And it is I, who owns a house with a Tree of Heaven in my backyard. Your poem means so much to me. Thank you for sharing it with us. KrisUSA2/17/2010 10:28:57 PM
Rita Janice TraubTo all my fellow-poets who have praised "Tree of Heaven," my heart is filled with gratitude. This includes the poets whose input I previously mentioned, as well as the comments of Westly Shaw, shay brown, and Marcia Schechinger. Your thoughts and ideas make me feel very close to all of you. Perhaps you may also recall some symbol of your childhood -- it may not be a tree -- that you felt a bond with, as I did with that little tree. I didn't incorporate this in the poem, but that awkward little tree with its amazing resilience was also fun-loving. I'd look at it sometimes and see it smiling at me, even giggling (if trees can giggle). Again, many thanks!USA2/17/2010 8:39:59 PM
Marcia SchechingerRita a moving verse, as we watch through your words, a piece of environment and memories as progress takes our trees. Yet they live forever because the poet speaks. :)USA2/17/2010 11:48:53 AM
shay brownwow that is a really well written poem... i can close my eyes and imagine the tree.... very well doneAustralia2/17/2010 9:14:15 AM
Westly Shaw This is a great poem and well written.USA2/16/2010 11:15:41 PM
Rita Janice TraubThank you so much, Gail Kay, for the tip you gave me and also for saying such complimentary things about "Tree of Heaven." I very much appreciate your comment -- and your assistance -- in addition to the comments of the other poets.USA2/16/2010 9:16:05 PM
Gail KayCongratulations on winning the January poetry contest Rita. It is a deserving win. I enjoyed your poem very much. Poem Mail at the top of the home page allows you to send a message to any other author at any time if you wish. Hope all goes well for your relative in hospital too. Australia2/16/2010 8:18:18 PM
Rita Janice TraubThis is a RESPONSE -- not to the poem, but by its author, TO all of you who have thus far penned such kind and moving comments. Thus far I include Nancy Crossland, Linda Terrell, Dwayne Rankin, Rachel Lisette, Jacinta Ramayah: To each of you, many thanks for sharing your thoughts with me! I don't know the right way to thank you online. I wrote to support@VoicesNet asking them if they would convey my thanks to you, but I have a feeling they might not answer me; I'm supposed to know where to post. Many, many thanks for what you wrote! I'm going through a very difficult time of my life now; my only surviving relative is ill in hospital; I hope we will be together again, but it will be a long difficult road. In reading each of your most welcome comments and feeling your empathy, I think perhaps you too might have experienced the adversity I refer to in the poem. And this poem is 100% true, none of it embellished, none of it fiction. (That brave little tree was female, too, and just about my age.)USA2/16/2010 5:25:17 PM
Jacinta RamayahThe simple things that were once enjoyed - gone in the name of progress. Rita, you weave a beautiful tale with your mesmerizing words. Congratulations!Malaysia2/16/2010 12:09:25 PM
Rachel LisetteA wonderful story, full of feeling - congratulations on a deserving win! :)Australia2/16/2010 1:33:46 AM
Dwayne Rankincongratulations on a fine poem and a sure fired winner Rita. So interesting in its tell and sad in the ending. loved itUSA2/15/2010 10:43:47 PM
 

 
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