I came across this poem for the first time when visiting the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Grove in the Pisgah National Forest of Western North Carolina while leading a backpacking trip in 2000. Kilmer acknowledges that he is the student and his God has given him a marvelous poem to contemplate in the work of a tree.
I wonder how often we remember that the God who thought up tree rings as a data storage information system and simultaneously constructed them to serve as a rich tapestry of beauty, has much to teach us in His Creation. When a scientist uncovers a new bit of the complex puzzle of life it is a moment to celebrate. Let us raise up children who glorify God by reveling in his poetry, be it His written word or His trees.