Monday, September 05, 2011

Ode to a Pear


Ode to a pear

Venus rustic,
buddha seated,
bottomly knob,
not hardly —

who’s to say
your ripening,
still on the sill,

all sweet pale,
by a window glazed,
till just tooth
tender, into
a perfection of age

awe-full-y to
decay approaching,
nearly one day
fluid, fermented —

who is to say that then
just before that end
you are not
the fruit
of all
most choice,

Poetry should be heard.

Did you know that pears don't ripen on the tree? They should be picked full sized and firm, set in the fridge for a day or two to prolong them, then set out at room temperature to ripen in a few more days. Best eaten the day before starting to rot, still sweet, almost dissolved more than chewed, in a quick minute.



who said...

Pondiferously awaiting the hands or machine that turns ripe, pinnacled stiffened points of inner matured softness from the windows and their silly sills. A Reconation of life's questions and answers of a less if not lightened burden of cloth in the land culled Aragon...

ellen abbott said...

I did not know that pears did not ripen on the tree.

who said...

and I do like the poem Ruthi it's another one with all the classical sounds of the great writers.

and as if the question were not rhetorical in the last verse then I am going to guess; It was Colonel Chris

with the lead pipe or maybe a spotting scope whilst set a top of the brick wall bordering the North by Northwest edge of town. Above the grassy knoll with his line of sight point southeast as if it were a vector :-) and I quote the name he wrote "Franco is Anatole"

the good news is; I'm never going to get tired of this.

the bad news is; I am never going to get tired of this.

my point is; I probably will not at any point in the future cease nor desist with words just like these (((th[i]s)))
sorry I didn't catch the typo in my first, second comment so I had to delete it

George said...

I'm still processing this interesting poem, Ruth, seeing something new with each reading, but still feeling, as I did the first time through, that the pear is you, me, everyone — "ripening . . . into a perfection of age . . . awe-full-ly to decay approaching," our lives "delectably surrendered."

Ruth said...

Dusti, I thought so. :-)

All of it.

And yes, the northern wall and "dusty" in the first line, nice poem that one.

Good good news and good bad news. This is nice to think about actually. Maybe it's another way of saying, what is is . . . ?

Ruth said...

Ellen, surprising, no?

Ruth said...

George, me too . . . processing this one, I mean. Something about what lies herein wanted to come out in disjointed syntax. I guess it's thinking about aging, end of life, and bottoms up, and how all of existence really isn't what we think, maybe, and that we are probably the best at being just before we're done with it.

But yes, I think it's all of us. Thanks always, for reading, closely.

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

nice one - I prefer my pears in quarters out of a bottle in the fridge - have a couple of pieces a day with my cornflakes each morning.

Pat said...

I love your photos, and by your description, I could almost taste the pear. I like mine a little on the harder side.

Friko said...

You poem is as delicious as the ripest pear, a perfect perfumed pear (is there another word for pear-shaped?).

The perfume of a ripe pear is important to me, my pears spend quite a lot of time under my nose, being sniffed, before I bite into them.

California Girl said...

We have a pear tree where we now live and it is my first experience w/ picking them so your info is most helpful. They are delicious. I knew to put them on the window sill but I've never heard one should place in the refrigerator first.

We also have 3 apple trees: a Granny Smith, a Mac & something else. I made the first apple pie of the season from the Grannies & a couple Macs. I'm eating it now. It is delicious.

Ruth said...

Hi there, Gerald (I haven't seen you since East Lansing Daily Photo Days, wow)! I like canned pears a lot, and we'll be making some of those.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Pat. Yeah, I like them a little firmer too, but I most like them so soft you have to eat them naked in the bathtub ... so juice doesn't get on your clothes.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Friko, the fragrance of a pear is delicate and clean, lovely.

Ruth said...

California Girl, we just learned about the fridge bit ourselves. You can also put them in a brown paper bag with an overripe banana to speed up the ripening.

I'd love a piece of your apple pie, oh man.

erin said...

who is to say anything about the pear or any othe person or thing other than, here is your thingness. i see you/it. i celebrate.

the nice tight hard to hold orbish language of the pear to the hand is especially fun, ruth,
"Venus rustic,
buddha seated,
bottomly knob,
not hardly —"


Brendan said...

Somehow this links to your "to autumn" riff -- the harvested fruit whose perfection comes after ripeness or inside of ripeness. Like a poem that continues to mature after the last draft. Minor question - should the "your" in the second stanza be "you're"? It reads awkwardly in the former spelling. A choice, sweet poem whose savor is "delectably surrendered." - Brendan

Ruth said...

erin, yes, no judgment anywhere. We just is.

Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Brendan. Yeah, getting older, it's nice to at least imagine that we're getting better.

The "your" is meant to be that, but I recognize that it's a bit awkward, since what lies between it and the last stanza is all supporting that (I can't think of the grammatical term at the moment, not that I ever knew it). Maybe it should all be indented to make that clearer. It takes a bit of holding on for the reader to keep track of that ripening all the way to the end. But I really didn't mean it to say, "who's to say / you're ripening . . . " though that makes sense, just not the meaning I intended.

Thanks for your feedback. I'll see if I can tweak it to be clearer, though I confess there is something in the stiltedness of this poem that I rather want to keep ... However, that does not mean it has to be stilted and awkward.

Margaret said...

So, we are at our best right before we "over-rippen". Love that. So my 46th birthday won't be so bad after-all. LOL

Put in the fridge for a day or two and THEN set them out. Never have heard of that, but worth a try. My youngest daughter has just realized she LOVES pears...

amy@ Souldipper said...

This Canadian rejoices! Imagine there being one fruit that is supposed to be picked early so its ride in whatever transport has purpose beyond "sale".

When I worked in the far North, well traveled food was a staple. I had to accept that I had to replace steaming veggies with giving them last rites.

Yet I rarely found pears in the produce section~!

Ginnie said...

Yes, sister, I know that about pears. Astrid, who picked them for years, told me. Once they're picked, they're stored almost at freezing point to conserve them before they go to auction.

But truth be told, I love the crunchy ones before they're that deliciously soft. Don't ask me why.... :)

hedgewitch said...

You've picked a very rich subject here--the idea of ripening, of becoming most sweet right before dissolution--and your treatment of it is elegant, balanced and very satisfying. I love the opening stanzas, where the green fruit is somehow a bit awkward, yet full of wisdom and promise. Enjoyed this very much, and sorry to be so late getting to it.