I think that I shall never see
Kudzu as lovely as a tree.
And if don’t I pull the Kudzu down,
There will be no trees left in this town.
Sincerest apologies to Joyce Kilmer and Ogden Nash.
I love kudzu…probably because I don’t have to deal with it anymore. A horticultural experiment run dreadfully awry, it has become both a trademark of the south and a scourge to farmers. The legends are true: kudzu vines grow a foot a day, and with a little patience you can literally watch it grow on the hottest summer days.
When I was a kid in Georgia, the kudzu ran rampant along vast stretches of highway (actually, it still does) and, just like every other kid, I would imagine that the big green soaring masses were monsters and dinosaurs.
I also have a funny memory from a freshman English class: at the bottom of a James Dickie poem in Norton’s Anthology was a footnote on kudzu (“a vine that covers entire fields in the South”) which the class found amusing since we had to trip up over the green trailing vines to get out of the commuter parking lot on campus. A needless explanation for the Southerner who has to deal with it daily.