Thursday, September 27, 2007

Poem of the Week 9/3/2007: Peach


Would you like to throw a stone at me?
Here, take all that's left of my peach.

Bloodred, deep;
Heaven knows how it came to pass.
Somebody's pound of flesh rendered up.

Wrinkled with secrets
And hard with the intention to keep them.

Why, from silvery peach-bloom,
From that shallow-silvery wine-glass on a short stem
This rolling, dropping, heavy glovule?

I am thinking, of course, of the peach before I ate it.

Why so velvety, why so voluptuous heavy?
Why hanging with such inordinate weight?
Why so indented?

Why the groove?
Why the lovely, bivalve roundness?
Why the ripple down the sphere?
Why the suggestion of incision?

Why was not my peach round and finished like a billiard ball?
It would have been if man had made it.
Though I've eaten it now.

But it wasn't round and finished like a billiard ball;
And because I say so, you would like to throw something at me.
Here, you can have my peach stone.

D.H. Lawrence 1929

Poetry loves the world, yes!~ And don't you want a peach now? What kind of miracle is this peach? I love the voice in this poem. Sometimes poetry takes itself so seriously. Sometimes people do?

It's peach season in Washington. Well, almost the end of peach season. This poem, though, looks very hard at a peach from the 1920s. A peach eighty years ago was as fresh as the peaches I saw today. Humans have loved peaches for a very long time. Where did that long-ago peach go? And its admirer? Interesting that the poem has a line about the circular renewal of matter; the thought, "somebody's pound of flesh offered up" implies that the peach is flesh of other things--animals, grass.

We have all heard that organic matter re-enters the earth, becoming life again. I guess that Lawrence's poem made that idea more real for me--this peach really *was* once, and then it passed. Like the thrown peach stone from one person to another!