Famous Inspirational Poem

Douglas Malloch (1877-1938), known as the "Lumbermen's Poet," compares good men to good timber in this famous metaphorical poem. The message of this poem is that people, like trees, grow and reach their true potential by overcoming adversity. It is only through struggles, like a tree fighting through forest growth to reach the sun, that we grow and discover our true potential. Malloch lived in Michigan where he grew up amongst logging camps and lumber yards. He wrote his first published poem when he was still a boy; it was published in the Detroit News.

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This is a poem that addresses the law of nature. No one can go against it. The poet has used metaphorical language to depict the similarities between man and other creations of nature. Nature...

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Good Timber

By more Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight
     For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
     And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
     But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
     To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
     Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
     But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease,
     The stronger wind, the stronger trees,
The further sky, the greater length,
     The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
     In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth
     We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
     Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
     This is the common law of life.

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Nora by Nora
  • 1 month ago

My brother, Mando, died of liver cancer on May 15, 2020. This poem is an accurate description of his character.

  • Rachel by Rachel
  • 4 months ago

My father, John, died of Covid on April 23, 2020. He will be buried on May 12. This poem will be read at his graveside.

  • Connie Dye by Connie Dye
  • 9 months ago

In life we are given trials. We can either be stricken down by them or strong and grow because of them. If we look to our Savior and KNOW that He knows us and He has felt all of the trials in our lives, we can lean on Him and trust Him. He will help us grow.

  • Kumari Weerasooriya by Kumari Weerasooriya
  • 1 year ago

This is a poem that addresses the law of nature. No one can go against it. The poet has used metaphorical language to depict the similarities between man and other creations of nature. Nature is the supreme power which decides man's destiny.

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