Joyce Kilmer poetry admirers, Mr. and Mrs. Madhu Manudhar, and Alex Michelini of the Joyce Kilmer Society of Mahwah, at the opening of the new Joyce Kilmer historical exhibit at the NJ Transit Mahwah Train Station.Credit: Alex Michelini.
The following was submitted to Patch by the Joyce Kilmer Society of Mahwah.
A new historical exhibit on poet and patriot Joyce Kilmer, who wrote the famous poem, “Trees” in his Mahwah home 100 years ago, has opened in the NJ Transit Mahwah train station for public viewing. “It is altogether fitting that we should place our latest exhibit in the waiting room of his hometown train station since Kilmer regularly traveled back and forth to work at The New York Times by train,” said Alex Michelini, founder of the Joyce Kilmer Society of Mahwah. In Kilmer’s poem, “The Twelve Forty Five,” he writes appreciatively of a train that brings weary workers home from their jobs in the darkness to the towns of Rutherford, Clifton, Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Ho Ho Kus, Waldwick, Allendale, Hawthorne, Ramsey and, of course, Mahwah. A copy of the poem, along with “Trees,” is among the nearly dozen photos and historical pieces in the display. The exhibit also traces the Society’s discovery of the actual notebook in which “Trees” was written and dated February 2, 1913. Several photos show the poems in the notebook, which was located in the library of Georgetown University last May. The Society discovered of the notebook and a letter written by Kilmer’s widow saying that Kilmer wrote “Trees” in his house at the corner of Airmount and Armour Roads in the township.
“We are proud to present this exhibit as part of our educational mission of spotlighting the legacy of Joyce Kilmer in Mahwah not only as a poet but also as a patriot who was the most famous American killed in action in France in World War I," said Michelini.