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Poetry Friday: “If I Could Climb Up to the Top of a Tree”

Poetry_Friday logoI’ve been quite busy lately writing poems for a number of collections I’m hoping to be part of (I recently found out that two of my poems were selected to be included in the Summer Issue of Halcyon magazine)…so for today, I thought I’d pull out something from the archives.

This is one of the first children’s poems I wrote with the express intent of writing a children’s poem. You see, 15 years ago I was simply writing whatever came to my mind, whether it was geared for children, adults, or whomever. It was only around 2000 that I started making a conscious effort to focus my writing and force myself to pay attention to how and what I was writing – and to improve it. This is one of the first poems I wrote that I knew was going to be for children. I hope you like it!

And for all the Poetry Friday links and hijinks, be sure to visit the blog of poet Liz Steinglass!

If I Could Climb Up To The Top Of A Tree

 

If I could climb up to the top of a tree,

then I could see you and you could see me.

I’d sit there up high on my leaf-covered dome

and pretend I was king – the Tree King – on his throne!

I would call to my subjects (a robin and jay),

“Come! Come! The Tree King says it’s now time to play!”

Then we’d sing and we’d chirp and we’d dance a quick dance,

and if we got hungry, we’d peck at some ants.

When at last the night came and we lay down to rest,

I’d give up my bed for a bluebird’s nest!

.

- © 2000, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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21 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “If I Could Climb Up to the Top of a Tree”

  1. I loved to climb trees as a child (now I get to watch my daughters attempt to climb trees), your lovely poem brought back fond memories. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m glad you liked it, Michelle! Thanks for stopping by.

      • Pat Sweeney on said:

        Hi Matt. I loved this because as child living on a farm, I actually climbed to the top of a very tall tree where my brother’s built a resting place. Your poem brought back my memories of many happy climbs there after. Thanks Matt. Pat Sweeney

      • Hey, Pay, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I hope all is well…email or call me sometime so we can catch up!

  2. Pingback: Welcome! | Elizabeth Steinglass

  3. This one has an old fashioned, nostalgic feel to it. I like the child-like feeling of empowerment in being the Tree King.

  4. I agree with Jama. This poem has a sort of timeless, “Children’s Treasury” quality to it. Love the idea of a Tree King on his leaf-covered dome.

  5. You had a good start with that delightful poem. It also bring back happy memories of playing in trees for me. Trees are good for exercise and imagination–a excellent combo for kids.

  6. Hey Matt,
    This is an oldie, but a goodie. Love the dialogue in this poem. Heck, I love trees, not many of them in my town.
    Thank you for sharing this gem with us.

  7. This is very sweet. I love that he’ll peck at the ants. He’s in the zone completely. And then of course the last line, sleeping curled up in a nest.

    • Thank you all, very much! I’ve been busy with the kids today so haven’t had a chance to check in on the blog, so it was a nice surprise to see all these kind comments! I’ve often been accused of writing in an old-fashioned sort of style, so I try to walk a line between what I enjoy and what contemporary editors prefer!

  8. “I’d sit there up high on my leaf-covered dome
    and pretend I was king – the Tree King – on his throne!”
    That was the essence of it for me as an inveterate tree climber; beautifully done, Matt.

  9. Congratulations on having two of your poems accepted to Halcyon and good luck with your other submissions!

  10. Love that vision of a tree king – one of my husband’s frustrations. :) Glorious poem – it has the taste of summer.

  11. I love this ending, in particular. That bluebird’s nest–great detail. There’s such a big difference between just writing with no particular audience in mind (which is fun, too) and writing to reach a specific group. Thanks for sharing this!

  12. This would be a great Foreword to the Epic book.

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