, literary critic
r, and editor
. Though a prolific poet whose works celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his religious faith, Kilmer is remembered most for a short poem entitled "Trees" (1913), which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems in 1914. While most of his works are unknown, a select few of his poems remain popular and are published frequently in anthologies.
At present, I am a poet trying to be a soldier. To tell the truth, I am not interested in writing nowadays, except in so far as writing is the expression of something beautiful ... The only sort of book I care to write about the war is the sort people will read after the war is over — a century after it is over.
In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet,There is a new-made grave today,Built by never a spade nor pick,Yet covered with earth ten meteres thick.There lie many fighting men.Dead in their youthful primeNever to laugh nor love againNor taste the Summertime.
Yes, God forgives and men forget, And you're forgiven and forgotten.You might be gaily sinning yet And quick and fresh instead of rotten.And when you think of love and fame And all that might have come to pass,Then don't you feel a little shame? And don't you think you were an ass?
They shall not live who have not tasted death. They only sing who are struck dumb by God.
There is no strange and distant placeThat is not gladdened by His face.And every nation kneels to hailThe Splendour shining through Its veil.
An iron hand has stilled the throats That throbbed with loud and rhythmic glee And dammed the flood of silver notesThat drenched the world in melody.
I have no vision of gods, not of Eros with love-arrows laden, Jupiter thundering death or of Juno his white-breasted queen, Yet have I seen All of the joy of the world in the innocent heart of a maiden.
Here is a shop of wonderment. From every land has come a prize;Rich spices from the Orient, And fruit that knew Italian skies,And figs that ripened by the sea In Smyrna, nuts from hot Brazil,Strange pungent meats from Germany, And currants from a Grecian hill.
, literary critic
r, and editor
. Though a prolific poet whose works celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his religious faith, Kilmer is remembered most for a short poem entitled "Trees" (1913), which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems in 1914. While most of his works are unknown, a select few of his poems remain popular and are published frequently in anthologies. Several critics, both Kilmer's contemporaries and modern scholars, disparaged Kilmer's work as being too simple, overly sentimental, and suggested that his style was far too traditional, even archaic.
At the time of his deployment to Europe during the first World War
(1914–1918), Kilmer was considered the leading American Catholic poet and lecturer of his generation, whom critics often compared to British contemporaries G. K. Chesterton
(1874–1936) and Hilaire Belloc
(1870–1953). A sergeant in the 165th U.S. Infantry Regiment
(better known as The Fighting 69th), Kilmer was killed at the Second Battle of the Marne
in 1918 at the age of 31.
Early years: 1886–1908Kilmer was born December 6, 1886 in New Brunswick, New Jersey
, the fourth and youngest child of Annie Ellen Kilburn (1849–1932) and Dr. Frederick Barnett Kilmer (1851–1934), a physician and analytical chemist employed by the Johnson and Johnson Company
and inventor of the company's baby powder
. Joyce was named Alfred Joyce Kilmer after Alfred R. Taylor, the curate; and the Rev. Dr. Elisha Brooks Joyce (1857–1926), the rector of Christ Church, the oldest Episcopal parish in New Brunswick, where the Kilmer family were parishioners. Rector Joyce, who served the parish from 1883 to 1916, baptised the young Kilmer. Kilmer's birthplace in New Brunswick, where the Kilmer family lived from 1886 to 1892, is still standing, and houses a small museum to Kilmer, as well as a few Middlesex County
Kilmer entered Rutgers College Grammar School (now Rutgers Preparatory School
) in 1895 at the age of 8. During his years at the Grammar School, he....
- "...won the Lane prize in public speaking and was editor-in-chief of the Argo, the school paper. He loved the classics, although he had considerable difficulty with Greek. In his last year at Rutgers, he won the first Lane Classical Prize, a free scholarship for the academic course at Rutgers College, and one hundred dollars in money. Despite his difficulties with mathematics and Greek, he stood at the head of his class in preparatory school."
After graduating from Rutgers College Grammar School in 1904, he continued his education at Rutgers College
from 1904 to 1906. At Rutgers, Kilmer was associate editor of the Targum
, the campus newspaper and a member of the Delta Upsilon
fraternity. Unable to complete the rigorous mathematics requirement in the curriculum at Rutgers, facing a repeat of his sophomore year and under pressure from his mother, Kilmer transferred to Columbia College of Columbia University
in New York City.
At Columbia, Kilmer was vice-president of the Philolexian Society
, associate editor of Columbia Spectator, the campus newspaper, and member of the Debating Union. He completed his Bachelor of Arts
(A.B.) degree and was graduated from Columbia on May 23, 1908. Shortly after graduation, on June 9, 1908, he married Aline Murray
(1888–1941), a fellow poet to whom he had been engaged since his sophomore year at Rutgers. The Kilmers had five children: Kenton Sinclair Kilmer (1909–1995), Michael Barry Kilmer (1916–1927), Deborah ("Sister Michael") Clanton Kilmer (1914–1999) who was a Catholic nun at the Saint Benedict’s Monastery, Rose Kilburn Kilmer (1912–1917), and Christopher Kilmer (1917–1984).
Years of writing and faith: 1909–1917Shortly after his marriage and graduation from Columbia, Kilmer sought teaching positions. In the autumn of 1908, he obtained a position teaching Latin at Morristown High School
in Morristown, New Jersey
, and finding that teaching did not demand much of his time, he found considerable time to dedicate to writing. At this time, he submitted essay
s to Red Cross Notes (including his first published piece, an essay on the "Psychology of Advertising") and poems to Moods, Smart Set, The Sun, The Pathfinder and The Bang. In addition to all this, he wrote book reviews for The Literary Digest, Town & Country
, The Nation
, and The New York Times
. By June 1909, Kilmer had abandoned any aspirations to continue teaching and relocated to New York City
, the literary and publishing mecca of the United States, deciding to focus solely on a career as a writer.
From 1909–1912, Kilmer was employed by Funk and Wagnalls
, which was preparing an edition of The Standard Dictionary. According to Hillis,
[Kilmer's]job was to define ordinary words assigned to him at five cents for each word defined. This was a job at which one would ordinarily earn ten to twelve dollars a week, but Kilmer attacked the task with such vigor and speed that it was soon thought wisest to put him on a regular salary."
Shortly after the publication of The Standard Dictionary in 1912, Kilmer became a special writer for the New York Times Review of Books and the New York Times Sunday Magazine and was often engaged in lecturing. Kilmer and his family then moved to Mahwah, New Jersey
, where he resided until his service and death in World War I
. Kilmer at this time was established as a published poet, and as a popular lecturer. According to Robert Holliday, Kilmer "frequently neglected to make any preparation for his speeches, not even choosing a subject until the beginning of the dinner which was to culminate in a specimen of his oratory. His constant research for the dictionary, and, later on, for his New York Times articles, must have given him a store of knowledge at his fingertips to be produced at a moment's notice for these emergencies."
In 1911, Kilmer's first book of verse, entitled Summer of Love was published. Kilmer would later write that "...some of the poems in it, those inspired by genuine love, are not things of which to be ashamed, and you, understanding, would not be offended by the others."
The Kilmers' daughter Rose (1912–1917) was stricken with Poliomyelitis
(also known as infantile paralysis) shortly after birth. The Kilmers turned to their religious faith
, and in correspondence between Joyce Kilmer and Father James J. Daly, Joyce and Aline began a conversion to Catholicism
into which they were received in 1913. In one of these letters, Kilmer writes:
- "Of course you understand my conversion. I am beginning to understand it. I believed in the Catholic position, the Catholic view of ethics and aesthetics, for a long time. But I wanted something not intellectual, some conviction not mental - in fact I wanted Faith.
- "Just off Broadway, on the way from the Hudson Tube Station to the Times BuildingOne Times SquareOne Times Square is a 25 story, 395 foot high skyscraper at 42nd Street and Broadway in Times Square....
, there is a Church, called the Church of the Holy Innocents. Since it is in the heart of the TenderloinTenderloin, ManhattanThe Tenderloin was an entertainment and red-light district in the heart of the New York City borough of Manhattan during the late 19th and early 20th centuries...
, this name is strangely appropriate - for there surely is need of youth and innocence. Well, every morning for months I stopped on my way to the office and prayed in this Church for faith. When faith did come, it came, I think, by way of my little paralyzed daughter. Her lifeless hands led me; I think her tiny feet know beautiful paths. You understand this and it gives me a selfish pleasure to write it down."
The year 1913 approached Kilmer in trials of suffering and faith but also in success. With the publication of "Trees" in the magazine Poetry, Kilmer gained immense popularity as a poet across the United States. At this time his popularity and success as a lecturer, particularly one seeking to reach a Catholic audience, led Robert Holliday to write: "It is not an unsupported assertion to say that he was in his time and place the laureate of the Catholic Church." Trees and Other Poems (1914) was published the following year. The next few years saw an immense output of work, with Kilmer continuing his lecturing, his literary criticism and essays, writing poetry, and finding the time in 1915 to become poetry editor of Current Literature and contributing editor of Warner's Library of the World's Best Literature. After the publication of The Circus and Other Essays in 1916, the following year would see the publication of three books, Literature in the Making, Main Street and Other Poems, and Dreams and Images: An Anthology of Catholic Poets.
War years: 1917–1918Within a few days after the United States declared war on Germany and entered the first World War
in April 1917, Kilmer enlisted in the Seventh Regiment of the New York National Guard. In August, Kilmer was initially assigned as a statistician with the U.S. 69th Infantry Regiment
(better known as the "Fighting 69th" and later redesignated the 165th Infantry Regiment), of the 42nd "Rainbow" Division, and quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant. Though he was eligible for commission as an officer and often recommended for such posts during the course of the war, Kilmer refused stating that he would rather be a sergeant in the Fighting 69th than an officer in any other regiment.
In September, before Kilmer was deployed, the Kilmer family was met with both the contrary emotions of tragedy and rejoicing. The Kilmer's daughter Rose had died, and twelve days later, their son Christopher was born. Kilmer sailed to Europe with his regiment on October 31, 1917, arriving in France two weeks later. Before his departure, Kilmer had contracted with publishers to write a book about the war, deciding upon the title Here and There with the Fighting Sixty-Ninth. Kilmer wrote home, stating "I have not written anything in prose or verse since I got here - except statistics - but I've stored up a lot of memories to turn into copy when I get a chance." Unfortunately, Kilmer never was to write such a book. During his time in Europe, Kilmer did write prose sketches and poetry, most notably the poem "Rouge Bouquet", which was written after the First Battalion of the 165th Regiment, which had been occupying the Rouge Bouquet forest northeast of the French village of Baccarat
, which at the time was a quiet sector of the front—was struck by a heavy artillery bombardment on the afternoon of March 12, 1918 that buried 21 men of the unit, of which 14 remained entombed.
Kilmer sought more hazardous duty and was transferred to the Regimental Intelligence Section
, in April 1918. He wrote to his wife, Aline that, "Now I'm doing work I love - and work you may be proud of. None of the drudgery of soldiering, but a double share of glory and thrills." According to Hillis:
- "Kilmer's companions wrote: "He was worshipped by the men about him. I have heard them speak with awe of his coolness and his nerve in scouting patrols in No Man's Land.” This coolness and his habit of choosing, with typical enthusiasm, the most dangerous and difficult missions, led to his death."
During the Second Battle of Marne, there was heavy fighting throughout the last days of July 1918, and on July 30, 1918, Kilmer volunteered to accompany Major William "Wild Bill" Donovan
when Donovan's Battalion (1-165th Infantry) was sent to lead the day's attack.
Death and burialDuring the course of the day, Kilmer led a scouting party to find the position of a German machine gun. When his comrades found him, some time later, they thought at first that he was peering over the edge of a little hill, where he had crawled for a better view. When he did not answer their call, they ran to him and found him dead. According to Father Duffy: “A bullet had pierced his brain. His body was carried in and buried by the side of Ames. God rest his dear and gallant soul.” Kilmer died, likely immediately, from a sniper
's bullet to the head near Muercy Farm, beside the Ourcq River near the village of Seringes-et-Nesles
, in France, on July 30, 1918 at the age of 31. For his valor, Kilmer was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre
(War Cross) by the French Republic
Kilmer was buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery and Memorial, near Fere-en-Tardenois, Aisne
, France. Although Kilmer is buried in France in an American military cemetery, a cenotaph
is located on the Kilmer family plot in Elmwood Cemetery, in New Brunswick, New Jersey
. A memorial service was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral
"Trees"Though a prolific poet, Joyce Kilmer is chiefly known for his poem, "Trees", published in the 1914 collection, Trees and Other Poems (see 1914 in poetry
), after it first appeared in Poetry magazine in August 1913. Kilmer wrote "Trees" on February 2, 1913, at his home in Mahwah, New Jersey
. The poem was dedicated to Mrs. Henry Mills Alden
(Ada Foster Murray Alden), his wife
's mother and a poet in her own right. Other sources, which state it was written in Chicago
, are unsubstantiated. "Trees" has been given several musical settings that were quite popular in the 1940s and 1950s, the most popular written by Oscar Rasbach
in 1922, with renditions performed by Ernestine Schumann-Heink
, John Charles Thomas
, Nelson Eddy
, Robert Merrill
and Paul Robeson
The text stated below is the original written by Kilmer.
- I think that I shall never see
- A poem lovely as a tree.
- A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
- Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
- A tree that looks at God all day,
- And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
- A tree that may in summer wear
- A nest of robins in her hair;
- Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
- Who intimately lives with rain.
- Poems are made by fools like me,
- But only God can make a tree.
There have been several variations on the text, including many parody
texts substituted to mimic Kilmer's seemingly simple rhyme
and meter, and questioning the poem's choice of metaphors. Of the often repeated parodies, one of the most known is "Song of the Open Road" by Ogden Nash
- I think that I shall never see
- A billboard lovely as a tree.
- Indeed, unless the billboards fall,
- I'll never see a tree at all.
The Trappist monk Thomas Merton
, who followed Kilmer in the Philolexian Society
of Columbia University
by some 30 years, once wrote a parody called "Chee$e" (with a dollar sign substituting for the letter "s,"), which mocked the lucrative sale of homemade cheese by his monastery, the Abbey of Gethsemani
. Among the lines was "The sucker's hungry mouth is pressed/Against the cheese's caraway breast."
In the Our Gang
short "Arbor Day," Alfalfa
, after the cue in a Woodsman-spare-that-tree exchange with Spanky, sings "Trees," in what Leonard Maltin
called "the poem's all-time worst rendition," with his whiny, strained voice.
In his album Caught in the Act, Victor Borge
, at one point, when playing requests, says, "Sorry I don't know that 'Doggie in the Window'. I know one that comes pretty close to it." Then he starts to play "Trees."
"Trees" was popularised in 1948 by the eponym segment of Melody Time
, an animated feature produced by Walt Disney
, and also in the 1980 film Superman II
, of which there are two versions, one directed by Richard Donner
and one directed by Richard Lester
. Donner's original version, belatedly released in 2006, has Marlon Brando
reading Kilmer's poem. These scenes had been shot in April 1977. Lester had British actor John Hollis
reprise Brando's role in July 1979, and it is he who appears in the original 1980 theatrical release. When Gene Hackman
as Lex Luthor
cuts short the recitation, his assistant Miss Teshmocker, played by Valerie Perrine
, protests, "I like Trees." Luthor responds, "So does your average cocker spaniel."
InspirationAccording to Kilmer's son, Kenton, the poem—which was not inspired by any specific tree but about trees in general—was written "...in an upstairs bedroom... which served as Mother's and Dad's bedroom and also as Dad's office.... The window looked out down a hill, on our well-wooded lawn - trees of many kinds, from mature trees to thin saplings: oaks, maples, black and white birches, and I do not know what else." However, a 1915 interview with Kilmer "pointed out that while Kilmer might be widely known for his affection for trees, his affection was certainly not sentimental - the most distinguished feature of Kilmer's property was a colossal woodpile outside his home. The house stood in the middle of a forest and what lawn it possessed was obtained only after Kilmer had spent months of weekend toil in chopping down trees, pulling up stumps, and splitting logs. Kilmer's neighbors had difficulty in believing that a man who could do that could also be a poet."
Many locations across the United States maintain legends that certain trees in their localities inspired Kilmer to write the poem. Most noted among them is the tradition in Kilmer's birthplace, New Brunswick, New Jersey
, which states that Kilmer wrote the poem "Trees" after a large white oak
(Quercus alba) tree that was located on the outskirts of town on the campus of Cook College
(now known as the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences), at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. This tree, estimated to be over three hundred years old, was so weakened by age and disease that it had to be removed in 1963. Currently, saplings from acorns of the historic tree are being grown at the site, throughout the Middlesex County area, and in major arboretums around the United States. The remains of the original Kilmer Oak are currently kept in storage at Rutgers University.
suggests quite a different inspiration. "Trees were favorite symbols for Yeats, Frost, and even the young Pound. [ . . . ] But Kilmer had been reading about trees in another context[,] the movement to stop child labor and set up nursery schools in slums. [ . . . ] Margaret McMillan . . . had the happy idea that a breath of fresh air and an intimate acquaintance with grass and trees were worth all the pencils and desks in the whole school system. [ . . . ] The English word for gymnasium equipment is 'apparatus.' And in her book Labour and Childhood (1907) you will find this sentence: 'Apparatus can be made by fools, but only God can make a tree.'". However, as this quotation cannot be found in McMillan's book, Davenport must be in error here.
Scansion and analysis"Trees" has twelve lines of eight syllables in strict iambic tetrameter
. The poem's rhyme scheme
is rhyming couplets
rendered aa bb cc dd ee aa.
Despite its deceptive simplicity in rhyme and meter, "Trees" is notable for its use of personification and anthropomorphic imagery
: the tree
of the poem, which Kilmer depicts as female
, is depicted as pressing its mouth
to the Earth's breast
, looking at God
, and raising its "leafy arms" to pray
. The tree of the poem also has human physical attributes — it has a "hungry mouth
(in which Robins
nest), and a bosom.
"Rouge Bouquet"To commemorate the loss of 21 fellow soldiers of The Fighting Sixty Ninth, Kilmer composed the following poem which was read over their graves in March 1918. It is traditional in the regiment to read the poem at memorial services for fallen members of the regiment, adding their names to the list of the dead in the appropriate line, and it was read over his own grave five months after he wrote it:
- In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet
- There is a new-made grave to-day,
- Built by never a spade nor pick
- Yet covered with earth ten metres thick.
- There lie many fighting men,
- Dead in their youthful prime,
- Never to laugh nor love again
- Nor taste the Summertime.
- For Death came flying through the air
- And stopped his flight at the dugout stair,
- Touched his prey and left them there,
- Clay to clay.
- He hid their bodies stealthily
- In the soil of the land they fought to free
- And fled away.
- Now over the grave abrupt and clear
- Three volleys ring;
- And perhaps their brave young spirits hear
- The bugle sing:
- “Go to sleep!
- Go to sleep!
- Slumber well where the shell screamed and fell.
- Let your rifles rest on the muddy floor,
- You will not need them any more.
- Danger’s past;
- Now at last,
- Go to sleep!”
- There is on earth no worthier grave
- To hold the bodies of the brave
- Than this place of pain and pride
- Where they nobly fought and nobly died.
- Never fear but in the skies
- Saints and angels stand
- Smiling with their holy eyes
- On this new-come band.
- St. Michael’s sword darts through the air
- And touches the aureole on his hair
- As he sees them stand saluting there,
- His stalwart sons;
- And Patrick, Brigid, Columkill
- Rejoice that in veins of warriors still
- The Gael’s blood runs.
- And up to Heaven’s doorway floats,
- From the wood called Rouge Bouquet,
- A delicate cloud of buglenotes
- That softly say:
- Comrades true, born anew, peace to you!
- Your souls shall be where the heroes are
- And your memory shine like the morning-star.
- Brave and dear,
- Shield us here.
Criticism and influenceJoyce Kilmer's reputation as a poet is staked largely on the widespread popularity
of one poem, namely "Trees". His untimely death removed from him the opportunity to develop into a more mature poet. Because "Trees" is often dismissed by modern critics and scholars as simple verse, much of Kilmer's work, especially his literary criticism
, has slipped into obscurity. Only a very few of his poems have appeared in anthologies
, and with the exception of "Trees" and to a much lesser extent "Rouge Bouquet", almost none have obtained lasting widespread popularity.
The entire corpus of Kilmer's work appears in the early years of the modernist
movement, especially before the influence of the Lost Generation
. In the years after Kilmer's death, poetry went in new directions, as is seen especially in the work of T. S. Eliot
(1888–1965) and Ezra Pound
. The years in which Kilmer was writing, and the conservatism and traditional style he used, were the last of the Romantic era
. Kilmer's poetry is often criticized for failing to break free of traditional modes, rhyme
and meter, or themes, and for being too sentimental to be taken seriously.
Kilmer's early works were inspired by, and were imitative of, the poetry of Algernon Charles Swinburne
, Ernest Dowson
, Aubrey Beardsley
, and William Butler Yeats
. It was later through the influence of works by Coventry Patmore
, Francis Thompson
, and those of Alice Meynell
and her children Viola Meynell
and Francis Meynell
, that Kilmer seems to have become interested in Catholicism. Kilmer wrote of his influences:
- "I have come to regard them with intense admiration. Patmore seems to me to be a greater poet than Francis Thompson. He has not the rich vocabulary, the decorative erudition, the Shelleyan enthusiasm, which distinguish the 'Sister Songs' and the 'Hound of Heaven,' but he has a classical simplicity, a restraint and sincerity which make his poems satisfying."
Because he was initially raised Episcopalian
(or Anglican), Kilmer became literary editor of the Anglican weekly, The Churchman, before his conversion to Catholicism
. During this time he did considerable research into 16th and 17th century Anglican poets as well as metaphysical, or mystic poets of that time, including George Herbert
, Thomas Traherne
, Robert Herrick
, Bishop Coxe, and Robert Stephen Hawker
, the Vicar of Morwenstow, the latter whom he referred to as "a coast life-guard in a cassock." These poets also had an influence on Kilmer's writings.
Critics compared Kilmer to British Catholic writers Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton, suggesting that his reputation might have risen to the level where he would have been considered their American counterpart if not for his untimely death.
Honors and awardsSeveral municipalities across the United States have named parks, schools, streets and squares in honor of Joyce Kilmer, including his hometown of New Brunswick, New Jersey
, which renamed Codwise Avenue, the street on which he was born, "Joyce Kilmer Avenue". In 2007, the city also hosted a Kilmer conference.
The Fighting 69thIn the 1940 film, The Fighting 69th directed by William Keighley and starring James Cagney
, Kilmer is depicted as a minor character played by actor Jeffrey Lynn
Camp KilmerCamp Kilmer
, opened in 1942 in what is now Edison, New Jersey
, an embarkation center for soldiers going to the European theatre during World War II. A small area of the original Camp ultimately remained as a US Army Reserve Center, which finally closed in 2009 as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Some of the original camp buildings and warehouses remain elsewhere on the former Camp area, which is now the location of the Livingston campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey where a library is named after him.
Joyce Kilmer ParkJoyce Kilmer Park, is located along the west side of the Grand Concourse
in The Bronx
, with a view westward of nearby Yankee Stadium
Joyce Kilmer SquareJoyce Kilmer Square, is located along both Kings Hwy. and Quentin Road at East 12th Street in Brooklyn
. It is under the jurisdiction of the city Department of Parks and Recreation, and features a flapole, benches and a memorial to Kilmer.
Joyce Kilmer Middle SchoolJoyce Kilmer Middle School
, in Fairfax County, Virginia
, is named after him.
Joyce Kilmer Middle School, in Milltown, New Jersey
, is also named for him. Each year at the Arbor Day
ceremony his famous poem "Trees" is read.
Joyce Kilmer Memorial FireplaceJoyce Kilmer Memorial Fireplace - The large stone fireplace was erected in Como Park in St. Paul, MN in 1936 in memory of Kilmer. A nearby sunken pool with miniature waterfalls, also named for Kilmer, no longer exists. Until recently, the fireplace was in a state of disrepair, but in 2011 underwent cleaning and restoration to its original condition. Kilmer was honored by St. Paul Parks Superintendent W. Lamont Kauffman, who was a charter member of the Joyce Kilmer post of the American Legion.
Joyce Kilmer Memorial ForestThe Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
(17,394 acres/15 km²) located in the Nantahala National Forest
, near Robbinsville
in Graham County, North Carolina
was dedicated in Kilmer's memory on July 10, 1936.
Kilmer TriangleThe Rogers Park community in Chicago, IL have named a triangle medium located at the intersection of Birchwood Ave., Rogers Ave., and Ashland Ave. after him. The site has a World War I memorial plaque mounted onto a large boulder. A task force of residents of Rogers Park renovated the triangle in 2009 to include new landscaping and a solitary tree in the center.
Kilmer Service AreaThe state of New Jersey
and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority
have named a service area on the New Jersey Turnpike
, located in East Brunswick Township after him.
Joyce Kilmer Elementary School, IllinoisIn the Rogers Park community of Chicago, Illinois, he has a school named after him, the Joyce Kilmer Elementary School.
An additional Joyce Kilmer Elementary School , opened in 1966, is in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. It is part of Community Consolidated School District No. 21 in Wheeling Township, Illinois. It feeds James Fenimore Cooper Middle School, also in Buffalo Grove.
Joyce Kilmer Elementary School, New JerseyThe town of Mahwah, New Jersey
, which was Kilmer's home from about 1913 to the end of his life, has a school named after him, the Joyce Kilmer Elementary School. Nobody's Inn, a bar and grill at 150 Franklin Turnpike in Mahwah (next to the Erie-Lackawanna railroad tracks about 0.7 miles from the border of Suffern, New York
), which closed in 2002, was widely believed to occupy the house that inspired Kilmer's poem, "The House with Nobody In It." The poem begins, "Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track / I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black."
A Joyce Kilmer Elementary School is located in Trenton, New Jersey, as a part of the Trenton Public Schools district, and in the Borough of Milltown, New Jersey.
Another Joyce Kilmer Elementary School is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Joyce Kilmer Elementary School, West Roxbury, Mass.The Joyce Kilmer K-8 School in West Roxbury, Massachusetts
(formerly Joyce Kilmer Elementary) is named in his honor.
Joyce Kilmer Memorial Bad Poetry Contest
- The Philolexian SocietyPhilolexian SocietyThe Philolexian Society of Columbia University is one of the oldest college literary societies in the United States, and the oldest student group at Columbia...
of Columbia UniversityColumbia UniversityColumbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...
, a collegiate literary society of which Kilmer was vice president, holds the annual Alfred Joyce Kilmer Memorial Bad Poetry Contest in his honor.
Joyce Kilmer Tree (Central Park, New York)There is a tree with a plaque in Central Park. The plaque reads:
IN MEMORIAM/Sergeant Joyce Kilmer/"Poet of the Trees"/Killed in Action - Bois-Colas/July 30, 1918
The tree is located east of Center Drive at about 67th Street. The plaque is in the ground on a concrete base and is visible from the walk looking east over the fence. The location is near several other memorials related to World War I
. On the west side of the walk trees were planted in 1919 by Albert King of the Belgians
, Gen. John J. Pershing
and the Prince of Wales (Edward VIII)
. North of the latter a tree was planted by his grandfather Edward VII
in 1860 when he was Prince of Wales. That tree is no longer there. Farther north on Flagpole Hill is a memorial to City Employees erected 1926. On the far side of the mall is an entire grove of trees and plaques for the companies of the 307th Infantry of the 77 Division A.E.F. Due east, outside the wall of the park on Fifth Avenue is a memorial to the 107th Infantry Regiment. In fact it is fair to say that Kilmer's tree is in the center of these memorials.
- Summer of Love. (New York: Baker and Taylor, 1911).
- Trees and Other Poems. (New York: Doubleday Doran and Co., 1914).
- The Circus and Other Essays. (New York: Lawrence J. Gomme, 1916).
- Main Street and Other Poems. (New York: George H. Doran, 1917).
- The Courage of Enlightenment. An address delivered in Campion CollegeCampion CollegeCampion College is an Australian Roman Catholic dedicated Liberal Arts college. It is a located at Austin Woodbury Place, Old Toongabbie in the western suburbs of Sydney, approximately 45 minutes from the central business district of Sydney, Australia. It is the first tertiary educational Liberal...
, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, to the members of the graduating class, 15 June 1917. (Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin: 1917).
- Dreams and Images: An Anthology of Catholic Poets. (ed. by Joyce Kilmer). (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1917).
- Literature in the Making by some of its Makers. (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1917).
- Poems, Essays and Letters in Two Volumes. Robert Cortes Holliday (ed.). (Volume One: Memoir and Poems, Volume Two: Prose Works) (New York: George H. Doran, 1918 - published posthumously).
- The Circus and Other Essays and Fugitive Pieces. (New York: George H. Doran, 1921 - published posthumously).
- Tribute page at Rising Dove (a site by his granddaughter)
- Tribute Page at the University of Notre DameUniversity of Notre DameThe University of Notre Dame du Lac is a Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, an unincorporated community north of the city of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States...
- A Tribute to Joyce Kilmer by a Kilmer biographer
- Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest website
- Philolexian Society of Columbia University
- Findagrave: tombstone and cenotaph
- Kilmer archive
- Reelyredd's Poetry Pages audio version of "Trees" (with James StewartJames Stewart (actor)James Maitland Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive voice and his everyman persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime...
- Joyce Kilmer/Campion College Collection
- The Poems of Joyce Kilmer (1918)