Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tulip tree - Yellow Poplar

Click on image to enlarge it.

This tulip tree lives in the back yard - I think she's quite beautiful.  She lost a limb several years ago - the ripping sound is something I won't forget.  There is another one right beside her and, when I was growing up, there was a huge one in the yard next door.  It was struck by lightning several times and eventually had to be cut down.  The stump remains and I am amazed at how large it is - one day, I'll take its picture and post it.

The leaves of the tulip tree resemble a - well, tulip (and sometimes to the 7 year old witch, it looks like the Hello Kitty face; she then proceeds to make a mask out of it after tearing pieces out for eyes!) and the flowers look like tulips.  If you click on the link to Wiki, you can see the beautiful flower the tree produces.

I found a lovely poem that mentions the tulip tree and so many other trees and plants of the beautiful deciduous forests of the East Coast.  It was written by Norbert Krapf and is found in his book Sweet Sister Moon.  I'm going to look more into that book - it sounds like it would be an interesting read.

The Figure in the Landscape

I found my goddess
in the lay of the land
I love, in the curves

of her rolling hills,
the rise and spread
of trees in her woods,

in the tangle of
weeds and wild flowers
that grow lush

in her fallow fields,
in the way she
opens herself to rain

and accepts the snow
and swells and heaves
in the hot sun.

When I tongue
the names shagbark
hickory and white oak,

sycamore and sweet
gum, beech, black
cherry and walnut;

prairie grass, Queen
Anne's lace, mullein
and blackberries,

sassafras, pawpaw
persimmon, pecan
and tulip poplar;

Dutchman's breeches,
bloodroot, May apple,
and wild geranium;

and voice the names
of those who came
before me and mine,

Miami, Piankashaw,
Lenape, Shawnee
Wea and Potawatomi,

I feel my goddess
listen and respond
to my naming

and know she
welcomes me back
to the land I love.


Jasmine said...

Beautiful poem and tree.

Lyon said...

That poem is *amazing.* It gave me chills. I wanted to let you know that I really love how you pair things in your actual environment with the poetry this way and share them. It's beautiful.

Delphyne said...

Thanks, Jasmine!

Thanks, Lyon - it is fun to go searching for a poem that feels right with the image. I learn a lot about poetry this way. This particular poem vibrates well with me, too - it's crafted and flows so beautifully.