The Witness Trees
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For generations, trees have silently witnessed history's most pivotal moments. Here are their stories.
In the sweep of wind over grass,
near the pulse of rivers,
monuments of bark
and age-curled green.
Above, an avalanche of stars.
Below, the ocean of earth.
Within, the uncounted lives
birthed, bloomed, and plucked
from the gardens we tend.
In evocative verse and stunning artwork, Witness Trees is the story of the world's most enduring witnesses: the trees. From the Flower of Kent apple tree still standing in Sir Isaac Newton's yard, to the English oak given to Jesse Owens after facing down Hitler at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, to the California redwood saved from destruction by July Butterfly Hill, to the Callery pear tree still miraculously alive after the World Trade Towers fell, Witness Trees is a moving tribute to the world's most famous trees, many of which still need humanity's protection. Be moved, be inspired, be amazed by the quiet, reverberating voices of nature's sentinels: the witness trees.
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Ryan G. Van Cleave wrote his first poem at age five, and he’s been writing, reading, and loving poetry ever since. He earned a Ph.D. in American Literature with an emphasis in poetry and has taught at numerous colleges and universities. Currently, he runs the creative writing major at Ringling College of Art and Design. As The Picture Book Whisperer, he helps celebrities and high-profile clients write picture books and kidlit projects.
Đốm Đốm is an illustrator who uses his art to sow seeds of joy. He has illustrated multiple books and lives in Vietnam.