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Inspired by Galloway’s Ginkgo

Posted by on Friday, May 12, 2017 in News.


Recently I happened to run into Andrew Michel on campus and we struck up a conversation about the trees on campus.  He was telling me how much he loved the big ginkgo tree near Kirkland Hall that was spared in the construction of the new residential college.  (This tree has been called “Galloway’s Ginkgo” and there is more on its history in an earlier blog post on ginkgoes.)  It inspired him to write some poetry, which he was willing to share here.  He also provided some photos that he had taken last fall when it was displaying its glorious golden foliage. I hope you enjoy the poetry and images as much as I did.

Thick Ginkgo



Do not hurt this tree


Though your fortresses go up
It stands in stout beauty
Silhouetted before a blue sky
Golden touches along its edges


Cranes and mechanical sounds
Move and rumble

About it’s still presence


Yet it is all that speaks to me




Do not hurt this tree

Andrew Michel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt.

For another photo of the ginkgo and the crane, see the vutrees Instagram account.