Poet Tree (Rain Forest Edition)

Poet Tree (Rain Forest Edition)

I was first introduced to Langston Hughes by a poem posted on a neighborhood tree less than a year prior so I was delighted when I visited the Hoh Rain Forest to see they had placed signs with poetry along the Hall of Mosses Trail, with one of those poems being Langston Hughes’ “Snail”, placed before this tree that arched from one side of the trail to the other. As you can see from the puddle in the trail I finally got my rain in the Hoh Rain Forest after years of trying, and you can see from the picture below that the sun came out at times too.

Little snail,
Dreaming you go,
Weather and rose
Is all you know.

Weather and rose
Is all you see,
Drinking
The dewdrop’s
Mystery
“Snail” by Langston Hughes

Poet Tree (Sunny Rain Forest Edition)

Poet Tree

Poet Tree

Several people in the neighborhood post poetry outside their homes, either in a dedicated housing or in this case, attached to a large tree by the street. Sometimes the poetry is self-written, while some highlight the work of others. Ellie and I pass by this tree pretty frequently on our walks, depending on the route she wants to take home, and the postings change over time, a Pooh quote below and a poem above. I was rather struck by the current poem, Langston Hughes‘ “I, Too”. I despised poetry in my youth so it’s not surprising that I was familiar with neither poem nor poet, but I was both moved and educated on our walk that evening.

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table,
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed —

I, too, am America.

Langston Hughes