Throughout the ancient world, trees were considered sacred. They were animate beings with souls or spirits much like our own."

"Joseph comes to believe that a magnificent oak tree that hangs over his new house embodies his father's spirit... "

"To a God Unknown" John Steinbeck

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,All alone it stood and the moss hung down from its branches,Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green,And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,But I wonder'd how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for I knew I could not,And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and twined around it a little moss,And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,(For I believe lately I think of little else than them,)Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana solitary in a wide flat space,Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend or lover near,I know very well I could not.

Walt Whitman-"I saw in Louisiana a Live Oak Growing"

As when, upon a tranced summer-night,
Those green-robed senators of mighty woods,
Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars,Dream, and so dream all night without a stir,Save from one gradual solitary gustWhich comes upon the silence, and dies off,As if the ebbing air had but one wave;

John Keats-from "Hyperion"

A giant oak stands tall against the sky,
A majesty of strength with leaves that clingAnd rustle in the breeze.
A watchful eyeMay spot a nest where noisy bluejays sing.
This tree has lived a thousand years or more
And gently touched with shade each thoughtful face.
Its branches, gnarled with age, uplifted---soar;
On earth, the shadows form a scarf of lace.
Perhaps, a tempest marred this modest oak
By carving furrows deep within its thigh.
How often did this giant laugh and joke?
Did sufferings bring forth a trembling sigh?
Proud landmark on the hill, for man you hold
A multitude of secrets left untold.

Edith Karelis-"The Old Oak"

to a spot
Where sun and shade were intermixed; for there
A broad Oak, stretching forth its leafy arms
From an adjoining pasture, overhung
Small space of that green churchyard with a light
And pleasant awning. On the moss-grown wall
My ancient friend and I together took
Our seats;

William Wordsworth-from The Excursion: "The Pastor


Yet in the end, defeated too, worn out and read to fall,Hangs from the drowsy tree with cramped and desperate stemabove the ditch the last leaf of all.There is something to be learned, I guess, fromlooking at the dead leaves under the living tree;Something to be set to a lusty tune and learnedand sung, it well might be;Something to be learned---though I was evera ten-o'clock scholar at this school---Even perhaps by me.But my heart goes out to the oak-leavesthat are the last to sigh"Enough," and lose their hold;They have boasted to the nudging frostand to the two-and-thirty windsthat they would never die,Never even grow old.(These are those russet leaves that cling all winter,even into the spring,To the dormant bough,in the wood knee-deep in the snowthe only coloured thing.

Edna St. Vincent Millay-"The Oak Leaves

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