[PW] identifying a poem

Christine Hadlow chrish at missoula.lib.mt.us
Thu May 21 09:52:50 PDT 2015

My patron is looking for a poem she and her daughter recited in the 1970's. They were living in Japan as missionaries, so possibly could be a translation of an Asian poet, but I sort of doubt that because the lines she gave me are somewhat familiar to me too. She does not know the title or poet. Both she and her daughter remember these lines:

I pass an old tree every day
Appearing to approach decay
No birds are nesting in its limbs
All signs of life are very dim.

I checked various poetry reference sources in my library, Granger's Index to Poetry, poemhunter.com, poet.org, poetryfoundation.org. General internet searching by line and as quotes. Called Mansfield Library at the University of Montana who checked some databases they have. I have looked at poems about "trees" but think this poem  could have other meaning. My patron thought it might be Emerson, but I did not have luck with my limited sources for him. The rhyme pattern reminds me of Frost.  Also, I contacted the Library of Congress who checked the following sources as well as print indexes:

-Columbia Granger's World of Poetry Online
-ProQuest Newspaper/ProQuest Historical Newspapers
-Numerous full-text newspaper databases
-Multiple search engines
-Online book databases such as Google Books<http://www.google.com/advanced_book_search>, the Internet Archive<https://archive.org/index.php>, and the HathiTrust Digital Library<http://www.hathitrust.org/>

They recommended you. I appreciate any help you can offer me.

Thank you,

Christine Hadlow
Senior Reference Associate
Missoula Public Library
301 E Main ST
Missoula, MT 59802
chrish at missoula.lib.mt.us

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