Know that phrase ‘You don’t know what you have till it’s gone?’, that is the theme of John Holmes’ My Tree.

Although a short poem, it is beautiful and simple poem, with a powerful message. That we only notice great things when sadly they are gone.

My Tree

By John Holmes

I had forgotten how I loved that tree

And just the way it’s branches laced

The sky behind, the way the wind

Sang through it, how it faced

The sun each day, and stood

In silhouette from roots to crown

Against the moon at night –

I had forgotten – till they chopped it down.

Poetry Ideas:

  • Check out our Poetry Page for lots of poems to use in your classroom
  • Keep a poetry diary for kids to record read work – read more poems by favourite poets
  • Adjective / Onomatopoeia word hunts
  • Write a response verse from the perspective of a different character
  • Write a response verse in a different style – nonsense, rhyming, haiku, cinquain etc. Does this change the poem?
  • Think up of 5/10 Questions you would ask a character in a poem/the author
  • Illustrate your favourite image from the poem – in black & white, colour.
  • Storyboard the poem: each verse gets a scene
  • Create a diorama of the poem out of recycling materials
  • Illustrate a book cover/movie poster that could accompany the poem
  • Write the poem using appropriate fonts / why did you choose this to reflect the poem?