Jungle Garden Press
~ California
(Marie Dern)

Artists books by Jungle Garden Press  

Tree Heart / True Heart
By Kay Ryan
Drawing by Carl Dern
Fairfax, California: Jungle Garden Press, 2011. Edition of 30.

6 x 8" single sheet. Handset in Bell type and letterpress printed on paper from Twin Rocker. This poem by sixteenth US poet laureate (2008-201) first appeared in September 26, 2012 edition of The New Yorker. Signed by the poet.

Patrick Kurp [blog accessed 1/5/12): "Ryan again borrows a phenomenon from the natural world and turns it into a human metaphor. She knows the inner layer of a tree’s growth ring is called 'spring wood.' That’s when the growth is rapid and the wood less dense than later in the season, when 'summer wood' forms, at least in temperate zones. The metaphor works because it’s not true to our nature. People are not trees. Ryan takes a valentine rhyme – 'true'/'you' – and reanimates it, as she surreptitiously rhymes 'pressed' and 'acquiesce,' 'mean' and 'green.' No one rhymes more wittily, and the final two lines can be read as a renunciation of love or a pledge of devotion."

The hearts of trees
are serially displaced
pressed annually
outward to a ring.
They aren't really
what we mean
by hearts, they so
easily acquiesce,


Click image to enlarge

Page last update: 12.06.12


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