Here in France we are now confined to our homes for people who can work from home or people whose businesses and companies are closed, which is the majority of the population, possibly for the next 45 days.

So, I’ll be photographing what I have to hand and it’s a great opportunity to finally sort through my archives. I have photos from trips that I’ve never even worked on.

This week I gifted myself a play date with a group of three pears.

The wonderful thing about pears, compared with other fruit, is that the different varieties have different shapes and colours. So, a group of pears is more interesting visually, than a group of apples, oranges etc.

I subscribe to the Poetry Foundation.org Poem of the Day newsletter and I receive a poem in my inbox every day. To be honest, there is a lot of poetry that I do not enjoy, or just don’t understand, but often something quite lovely arrives.

As serendipity would have it, this wonderful poem about pears popped into my inbox.

PEAR by Paisley Rekdal

after Susan Stewart

No one ever died for a bite

of one, or came back from the dead

for a single taste: the cool flesh

cellular or stony, white

as the belly of the winter hare

or a doe’s scut, flicking,

before she mates. Even an unripe one

is delicious, its crisp bite cleaner

almost than water and its many names

just as inviting: Bartlett and Comice,

Anjou, Nashi, Concorde

and Seckel, the pomegranate-skinned

Starkrimson, even the medieval

Bosc, which looks like it dropped

from an oil painting. It is not a sin

to eat one, though you may think

of a woman’s body as you do it,

the bell-shaped swell of it

rich in your hand, and for this reason

it was sacred to Venus, Juno, all women

celebrated or dismissed

in its shape, that mealy sweetness

tunneling from its center, a gold

that sinks back into itself with age.

To ripen a pear, wrap it in paper,

lay it in cloth by an open window

or slip a rotten one beside it

on a metal dish: dying cells call always

to the fresh ones, the body’s

siren song that, having heard

it once, we can’t stop singing.

This is not the fruit

that will send you to hell

nor keep you there;

it will not give you knowledge,

childbirth, power, or love;

you won’t know more pain

for having eaten one, or choke

on a bite to fall asleep

under glass. It has no use

for archer or hero, though

anything you desire from an apple

you can do with the pear, like a dark sister

with whom you might live out

your secret desires. Cook it

in wine, mull it with spices, roast it

with honey and cloves. Time sweetens

and we taste it, so gather the fruit

weeks before ripeness,

let summer and winter both

simmer inside, for it is

a fall fruit whose name in China

means separation, though only the fearful

won’t eat one with those they love.

To grow a tree from seed,

you’ll need a garden

and a grafting quince, bees, a ladder,

shears, a jug; you’ll need water

and patience, sun and mud,

a reverence for the elders

who told no true stories

of this fruit’s origin,

wanting to give us the freedom

of one thing that’s pleasure alone.

Cool and sweet, cellular and stony,

this is the fruit I’ll never die for,

nor come back from the dead

for a single taste.

The juice of the pear

shines on my cheeks.

There’s no curse in it. I’ll eat

what I like and throw the rest

to the grasses. The seeds

will find whatever soils they were meant for.

 

Paisley Rekdal, “Pear” from Nightingale.

Copyright © 2019 by Paisley Rekdal.

Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.

Source: Nightingale ( 2019 ) for the Poetryfoundation.org

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Thank you for visiting.

Take Care

Henrie

XO

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