“Knees” (with apologies to poet Joyce Kilmer)

Are you familiar with the poem Trees, by Joyce Kilmer?  “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree…”?  It’s a classic poem teachers have long assigned to their students for memorization.

In case you didn’t know that the poem had been set to music, here is an unforgettable version, whose haunting melody will do just that.  Haunt you.  You’ll never be able to hum it in key ever again.

The reason I’m bringing this up is that I recently discovered an alternate version of that revered poem in the May, 1968 issue of Women’s Household magazine.  This poem seems fitting as we head into the summer season, when knees (and just about everything else) are on full display.

I think that I shall never see

A thing as ugly as a knee,

Above whose gnarled and knotted crest

The mini-hemline comes to rest.

Or one that’s even worse than that

When padded with repulsive fat.

A knee that may in summer wear

Nothing at all, but be quite bare.

Behind whose flex there oft remains

A network of blue and broken veins.

Some knees continue to perplex–

How can they form the letter “X”?

While in another set one sees

A pair of true parentheses.

Small nuts write verses such as these,

But greater nuts display their knees!


4 Replies on ““Knees” (with apologies to poet Joyce Kilmer)

  1. Is that from the Little Rascals?! That was before my time but the boys look familiar.
    I’m sending a copy of the knees poem to a couple of friends. That’s hilarious!!

    1. Yes, it’s the Little Rascals!! They’re so good! I think the episode is called Arbor Day. (It’s WAY before my time, too! My grandpa as a boy in the 30s met Alfalfa once at a pool and said he was a bossy, spoiled little kid!)

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