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The Pear

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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

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The Pear

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