Tree

By Jane Hirshfield b. 1953 Jane Hirshfield
It is foolish
to let a young redwood   
grow next to a house.

Even in this   
one lifetime,
you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books—

Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.   
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.

Jane Hirshfield, “Tree” from Given Sugar, Given Salt. Copyright © 2001 by Jane Hirshfield. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source: Given Sugar Given Salt (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2001)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Jane Hirshfield b. 1953

Subjects Nature, Trees & Flowers

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Jane  Hirshfield

Biography

Award-winning poet, essayist, and translator Jane Hirshfield is the author of several collections of verse, including Come, Thief (2011), After (2006), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize, and Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001), a finalist for the National Book Critics Award, among others. Hirshfield has also translated the work of early women poets in collections such as The Ink Dark Moon: Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Trees & Flowers

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.