Fruit Don’t Fall Far

By Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven 1874–1927 Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Translated from the German by Jill Alexander Essbaum Read the translator's notes

From Daddy sprung my inborn ribaldry.
His crudeness destined me to be the same.
A seedlet, flowered from a shitty heap,
I came, the crowning glory of his aim.

From Mother I inherited ennui,
The leg irons of the queendom I once rattled.
But I won’t let such chains imprison me.
And there is just no telling what this brat’ll...!

This marriage thing? We snub our nose at it.
What’s pearl turns piss, what’s classy breeds what’s smutty.
But like it? Lump it? Neither’s exigent.
And I’m the end result of all that fucking.

Do what you will! This world’s your oyster, Pet.
But be forewarned. The sea might drown you yet.

Source: Poetry (June 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2011


Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven was a German-born avant-garde poet. Known for her flamboyance and sexual frankness, the Baroness was a central figure in Greenwich Village’s early-twenties Dadaism.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Marriage & Companionship, Love, Desire

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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