Alfred Joyce Kilmer (December 6, 1886 – July 30, 1918) was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for a short poem titled "Trees" (1913), which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems in 1914. Though a prolific poet whose works celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his Roman Catholic religious faith, Kilmer was also a journalist, literary critic, lecturer, and editor. At the time of his deployment to Europe during World War I, Kilmer was considered the leading American Roman Catholic poet and lecturer of his generation, whom critics often compared to British contemporaries G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) and Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953). He enlisted in the New York National Guard and was deployed to France with the 69th Infantry Regiment (the famous "Fighting 69th") in 1917. He was killed by a sniper's bullet at the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 at the age of 31. He was married to Aline Murray, also an accomplished poet and author, with whom he had five children.
While most of his works are largely unknown today, a select few of his poems remain popular and are published frequently in anthologies. Several critics—including both Kilmer's contemporaries and modern scholars—have dismissed Kilmer's work as being too simple and overly sentimental, and suggested that his style was far too traditional, even archaic. Many writers, including notably Ogden Nash, have parodied Kilmer's work and style—as attested by the many imitations of "Trees".
Birth and Death Data: Born December 6th, 1886 (New Brunswick), Died July 30th, 1918 (Seringes-et-Nesles)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1924 - 1938
Roles Represented in DAHR: author
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BVE-30950||10-in.||11/1/1926||Trees||Ernestine Schumann-Heink||Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||B-30950||10-in.||9/29/1924||Trees||Ernestine Schumann-Heink||Contralto vocal solo, with harp and orchestra||author|
|Victor||BVE-34924||10-in.||3/1/1926||Trees||Elsie Baker||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||CVE-37045||12-in.||11/27/1926||The peacemaker||Associated Glee Clubs of America||Male vocal chorus, with trumpet||author|
|Victor||BVE-39419||10-in.||6/22/1927||If||Florence Higgins Butler||Recitation||author|
|Victor||PBVE-42003||10-in.||2/14/1928||Trees||Eddie Harkness Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||author|
|Victor||BVE-45032||10-in.||5/11/1928||Trees||Anne Stanier Rutledge||Female vocal solo, with piano||author|
|Victor||BVE-46112||10-in.||6/22/1928||Trees||Theda M. McKinney||Female vocal solo, with piano||author|
|Victor||BVE-46113||10-in.||6/25/1928||Trees||Grace Huber Lohmiller||Female vocal solo, with piano||author|
|Victor||BVE-46307||10-in.||7/10/1928||Trees||Zelda Huckins||Female vocal solo, with piano (self-accompaniment)||author|
|Victor||BVE-55636||10-in.||7/29/1929||Trees||Reinald Werrenrath||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||BVE-64315||10-in.||10/10/1930||Trees||Leo Reisman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||author|
|Victor||BRC-69616||10-in.||5/14/1931||Trees||Frank Munn ; Nathaniel Shilkret ; Victor Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||author|
|Victor||BRC-69654||10-in.||5/26/1931||Trees||John Charles Thomas||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Victor||BVE-89135||10-in.||4/11/1935||Trees||Don R. George||Pipe organ solo (Hawaiian)||author|
|Victor||PBS-09560||10-in.||6/29/1937||Trees||Nelson Eddy ; Nathaniel Shilkret||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Columbia||W144754||10-in.||10/12/1927||Trees||Earl Burtnett ; Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with vocal solo||author|
|Columbia||W151749||10-in.||8/24/1931||Trees||Ben Selvin and his Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet||author|
|Brunswick||E36505||10-in.||3/25/1931||Trees||Will Osborne and his Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||author|
|Brunswick||E18084-E18086||10-in.||2/24/1926||Trees||Marie Morrisey||Female vocal solo, with flute obbligato and orchestra||author|
|Brunswick||E18482-E18483||10-in.||3/19/1926||Trees||Marie Morrisey||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
|Gramophone||0B2180||10-in.||2/9/1932||Trees||Ambrose Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||author|
|Gramophone||0EA7087||10-in.||11/20/1938||Trees||Paul Robeson||Bass vocal solo, with orchestra||author|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Kilmer, Joyce," accessed July 24, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102075.
Kilmer, Joyce. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 24, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102075.
"Kilmer, Joyce." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 24 July 2021.
DAHR Persistent Identifier
Send the Editors a message about this record.