Friday, November 5, 2021

Learning from Birches (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading for Roundup.

Today's ArtSpeak: Four Seasons poem features birches. Many other poets have written about birches. Have you? Here are a few I found online:

how they remind of childhood: Birches by Robert Frost

how they are "all elbows" Birch by Cynthia Zarin

"white fingers"  Russian Birch by Nathaniel Bellows

addressing the birches:  Matins by Louise GlΓΌck

...and here is my birch poem. Thank you for reading!

when in doubt

like birches—


a thousand
crooked forests
cannot be wrong
about how to catch

- Irene Latham


  1. Your poetry is always an example of how to "catch the light", Irene. Thanks be to birches and thanks be to you. :)

  2. Trees know, don't they? I love seeing the birches here, and though not the same family, similar in look to aspen. I love this, Irene, "When in doubt", follow. Happy weekend!

  3. Irene, When In Doubt is a fitting title for this ArtSpeak poem. You have provided a beautiful moment to sit and ponder life. Nature always soothes my soul.

  4. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

  5. Such a lovely orange, black and white forest! "A thousand crooked forests cannot be wrong." I agree.

  6. A perfect companion poem for the birches on Aldis Hill in my poem!! The way they "catch/light" is indeed magical.

  7. I have always loved white birch trees and your poem brings me to the places where I saw them. At a summer camp I worked at we had a Chapel in the Birches. It was such a peaceful, lovely setting for song and sharing and meditation. Your poem is exquisite. I will try to remember to bend like a birch toward the light.
    Janet Clare F.

  8. A thousand crooked forests surely can't be wrong. What a lovely poem. Do you have birches in your neck of the woods?

  9. Such simplicity in a poem is an achievement. I am in love with "cannot be wrong."

  10. Thank you for this wise, beautiful poem, Irene. I need this reminder of "how to catch light."

  11. Thank you for bringing us into your chapel of wise birches.

  12. Irene, your poetry is always a joy - a combination of simplicity and truth - yet so lightly wrought, and unexpected. This is lovely.

  13. Love it, Irene! Our nephew got married in a Colorado birch forest this past summer. SO beautiful.

  14. I love learning from the trees and reading your words. My husband frequently tells me to "Be a willow. Bend!" I like the idea of curving too.


Your thoughts?