Poem by: Halldis Moren Vesaas

The woman is planting a tree in the world.

On her knees, like someone in prayer,

Among the remains of the many trees

That the storm has broken down.

She must try again,

perhaps one at last

Will be left to grow in peace.

She sees the hands outspread on the earth

As if trying to impose her calm

On its threatening tremors.

Oh earth, be still,

Be still, so my tree can grow.


This poem was read in the presentation of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize to Wangari Maathai, who led a grassroots tree planting program in Kenya which has now planted over 40 million trees in Africa.

Art by: Tea Silvestre

Postcards of this image are available to purchase here.