The Pear

By Ruth Stone 1915–2011 Ruth Stone
There hangs this bellied pear, let no rake doubt,
Meat for the tongue and febrile to the skin,
Wasting for the mildew and the rot,
A tallow rump slow rounded, a pelt thin
And for the quickest bite; so, orchard bred,
Heaviest downward from the shaking stem.
Whose fingers curve around the ripened head
Lust to split so fine a diadem.

There is the picker, stretches for the knife,
There are the ravening who claw the fruit,
More, those adjuring wax that lasts a life,
And foxes, freak for cunning, after loot.
For that sweet suck the hornet whines his wits,
But husbandman will dry her for the pits.


December 1951

Source: Poetry (June 2012).

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2012
 Ruth  Stone

Biography

Poet Ruth Stone was born in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1915 and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She lived in a rural farmhouse in Vermont for much of her life and received widespread recognition relatively late with the publication of Ordinary Words (1999). The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was soon followed by other award-winning collections, including In the Next Galaxy (2002), winner . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Men & Women, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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