a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Poetry readings: The Prisoner of Zenda


Poetry readings: Green
Richard Wilbur Poet
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

I found out not long ago why the trees are green and wrote a poem about it. Trees are green because the leaves in manufacturing wood have no use for that particular colour of the spectrum, therefore it's excluded, left behind, and all over the place in summer.


Tree leaves which, till the growing season's done,
Change into wood the powers of the sun,
Take from that radiance only reds and blues.
Green is a colour that they cannot use,
And so their rustling myriads are seen
To wear all summer an extraneous green,
A green with no apparent role, unless
To be the symbol of a great largesse
Which has no end, though autumn may revoke
That shade from yellowed ash and rusted oak.


Acclaimed US poet Richard Wilbur (1921-2017) published many books and was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He was less well known for creating a musical version of Voltaire's “Candide” with Bernstein and Hellman which is still produced throughout the world today.

Listeners: David Sofield

David Sofield is the Samuel Williston Professor of English at Amherst College, where he has taught the reading and writing of poetry since 1965. He is the co-editor and a contributor to Under Criticism (1998) and the author of a book of poems, Light Disguise (2003).

Tags: Green

Duration: 1 minute, 11 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2005

Date story went live: 29 September 2010