View Full Version : Rate-a-Poem: Never May the Fruit Be Plucked

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 09:24 AM
By Edna St. Vincent Millay (http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/m_r/millay/millay.htm)
(1892 - 1950)

Never May the Fruit Be Plucked

Never, never may the fruit be plucked from the bough
And gathered into barrels.
He that would eat of love must eat it where it hangs.
Though the branches bend like reeds,
Though the ripe fruit splash in the grass or wrinkle on the tree,
He that would eat of love may bear away with him
Only what his belly can hold,
Nothing in the apron,
Nothing in the pockets.
Never, never may the fruit be gathered from the bough
And harvested in barrels.
The winter of love is a cellar of empty bins,
In an orchard soft with rot.

12-30-2005, 09:34 AM
Loved this one. I was between a 4 and a 5, but I started interpreting the "winter" element in multiple ways and thinking that I didn't necessarily agree with the content. That said, it's quite evocative, and it required multiple readings, which I enjoyed in increasing intensity. I also found the ending rather punchy, "rot" punctuating the preceeding lines with unexpected bitterness.

[ETA: Holy moly; I'm about to hit 1000 posts! How'd that happen?!]

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 09:51 AM
spend it here, my dear.

12-30-2005, 08:11 PM
Ah. That one hurts.

12-30-2005, 10:54 PM
I thought it was good.

01-01-2006, 06:31 PM
The last two lines almost made it a 4 for me, but overall, I gave it a 3.