First, the book is literally about someone getting wood, which is a literary motif that has stood the test of time. Ella Wood: if you’re still running for Ward 7 alder, “We’ve got Wood” needs to be your campaign slogan—no exchange of material encapsulates so many emotions. I don’t need a thermometer to know that this book is the hottest shit I’ve ever read.
The story is fraught with imagery of physical interaction between our main characters, a boy and a tree—swinging from branches, climbing up “her trunk” (and its implied junk)—this was my first foray into foreplay. “The boy loved the tree very much and the tree was happy” (Silverstein 8). Meanwhile, five-year-old me was confused, but also very into it.
And then comes the whispering and teasing: “‘Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy’” (Silverstein 15). Ugh. I cannot. And he does not—he just makes like a tree and leaves, leaving her frustrated.
Silverstein employs some freaky-ass stuff that was very formative for both myself and Rihanna in her song “S&M”: after complaining that he needs to build a house, “the boy cut off her branches and carried them away to build his house. And the tree was happy.” What the FUCK. But also, that is so hot! This book should be required reading for WIPS (and also maybe the Environmental Studies major).
The end of the book culminates with the man sitting on the tree. This review writes itself.
This book always gets me hot, bothered, and turn’t (in that order) and if you don’t think it deserves to be in this NYTBR issue then you need to either read it or see a psychoanalyst because I started writing this post fully clothed in Panera Bread but now I am not fully clothed in the Vandy courtyard. And you best believe this boy was happy!