Oak leaf donation

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walt whitman

I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing, 
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the 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 of 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.


Though our tree is not a “live-oak,” nor is our barn located in Louisiana, Whitman’s poem echoes our conviction that the Poetry Barn would not exist without its friends.

Our oak tree, installed in 2017, will continue to leaf out as our canopy of friends widens and puts down deep roots. Receive your own named leaf with your gift of $250 or more.

Thank you for your gift supporting poetry! We could not do what we do without you. Contributions for the purposes of the Poetry Barn project are payable to Fractured Atlas and tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

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