The Old Oak Tree

This is my latest project done during the few warm days of winter. It is the painting of a farm near Singers Glen, Virginia. During college dating years, we enjoyed some beautiful days there up under the oak tree on the hill. We even took our engagement photo next to that tree! I sent it to my niece, whose grandparents lived there.

Ziegler Farm

So many great memories

‘neath the giant oak


Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Under the Ziegler Oak


Did you ever read a poem an think, “I think I could write one like that!” Perhaps you might even have the audacity to think you could do one better! This is what I thought a couple of years ago when my sister sent me a poem, by Helen Hay Whitney, called With Music. The poem was a good one, but to me was very depressing. I thought I could write one from my own experience, using the same format, but changing the words to make it more positive and upbeat. See what you think.


Under the Ziegler Oak

Yes dear, we did meet in some clear yesterday?

I distinctly remember how the cool breezes blew

Among green grass and shade of our oak,

And on the grass, beside the tree, we lay

In early twilight; faintly, far away,

Came lovely sounds adrift from the mocking bird above,

With answered echoes of a scolding blue jay,

While twilight waited tiptoe, fain to stay.

Her Brown eyes were sweet with innocent mystery.

You looked in mine, as the music rose and fell

Like little, lisping melodies of the sea;

Our souls were joined, our voices in harmony rose—

Golden words, a note, a line, who can tell?

Soft—music rising—I recall it all.


(Written in contrast to the poem

“With Music”

by Helen Hay Whitney)

“With Music” was published in “Sonnets and Songs”

(Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1905).


Photo: Dwight L. Roth