Joyce Kilmer was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and
educated at Rutgers College and Columbia University. From
1909 to 1917 Kilmer was employed with the staff at New
Standard Dictionary, and also worked on various periodicals
such as The New York Times and The Nation.
His first volume of poetry was published in 1911 and received
high acclaim, and his 1914 collection Trees and Other
Poems included his lyric poem "Trees" that won him
popular recognition. In 1917, Kilmer enlisted as a private
with the 7th Regiment, National Guard in New York. Soon
after he transferred to the 165th Infantry, a part of
the Rainbow Division, and was promoted to Sergeant on
the Western Front. While scouting for enemy guns, Kilmer
was shot in the head and killed. Following his death,
Kilmer was awarded French Croix de Guerre.