Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire

By Brenda Hillman b. 1951 Brenda Hillman

Titled after Satie

Three pears ripen
On the ledge. Weeks pass.   
They are a marriage.

The middle one’s the conversation   
The other two are having.   
He is their condition.

Three wings without birds,   
Three feelings.
How can they help themselves?

They can’t.
How can they stay like that?   
They can.

The pears are consulting.   
Business is bad this year,

D’Anjou, Bartlett.   
They are psychiatrists,

Patient and slick.
Hunger reaches the hard stem.

It will get rid of them.

The pears are old women;   
They are the same.   
Slight rouge,
Green braille dresses,   
They blush in unison.   
They will stay young.   
They will not ripen.
In the new world,   
Ripeness is nothing.

Brenda Hillman, “Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire” from The White Dress. Copyright © 1985 by Brenda Hillman. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Source: White Dress (Wesleyan University Press, 1985)

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Poet Brenda Hillman b. 1951


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 Brenda  Hillman


One of contemporary poetry’s most eclectic and formally innovative writers, Brenda Hillman is known for poems that draw on elements of found texts and document, personal meditation, observation, and literary theory. Often described as “sensuous” and “luminescent,” Hillman’s poetry investigates and pushes at the possibilities of form and voice, while remaining grounded in topics such as geology, the environment, politics, family, . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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