Never even considered the tree as a metaphor for a skyscraper before. Somehow, I find the imagery unsettling in that context. You've ruined the poem for me. YOU B******.
I'm inclined to be a bit more literal about the interpretation as and extant a force, for me death and decay, that encroaches upon the unnamed actor sitting across the expanse, but firmly riveted to a specific location and time. Many interpret this as morbid, but I don't. The tree, while gone, is still in this actor's memory and the new force is somehow connected, and recognised as both a force and a connection, between death, life and the actor's personal but universal realisation of these. I find this an affirmation of some sort.
Now, the modern allusion conjures up whole new vistas which I hadn't even contemplated before. My world view, at least as far as the poem is considered, will have to change. Interesting.
Another ditty by Edna stVM
Jesus on His Birthday
For this your mother sweated in the cold,
For this you bled upon the bitter tree:
A yard of tinsel ribbon bought and sold;
A paper wreath; a day at home for me.
The merry bells ring out, the people kneel;
Up goes the man of God before the crowd;
With voice of honey and with eyes of steel
He drones your humble gospel to the proud.
Nobody listens. Less than the wind tht blows
Are all your words to us you died to save.
O Prince of Peace! O Sharon's dewy Rose!
How mute you lie within your vaulted grave.
The stone the angel rolled away with tears
Is back upon your mouth these thousand years.
Now many wouldn't read this poem because of its religious connotations, but many religious people would rail at the message. I like this type of political poem -even if Edna didn't intend it in this context. Poetry at its best morphs beyond the author's intentions imho.
And I seem to have a fetish about trees, it seems.