The peach orchard ~ May, 2019
Poor J. Alfred Prufrock. One of T.S. Eliot’s most memorable creations, he roams the streets and rooms of his poem — “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” — haunted by a hundred indecisions.
Sometimes distressed by the grand questions of life, he becomes equally paralyzed before the smaller decisions it requires, asking “Do I dare disturb the universe?” while remaining unsure how to part his hair.
In the midst of his dithering, he asks a question I’ve always found amusing: “Do I dare to eat a peach?” At the height of our peach season, filling my baskets at a local orchard and daring to eat a peach or two as I plucked, I pondered J. Alfred’s question, and tucked this answer in with the fruit.
pluck, to sift
through leafy boughs
in seach of summer’s
bounty; to taste what heat
sends, dripping-sweet, down chins and
elbowed branches; hearing orchards
sing of rain-drenched life, of growth, of joy ~
it’s here the answer ripens as it will.
110 thoughts on “Prufrock and Peaches”
These are beautiful Linda. I love those colours. Dripping-sweet down the chin is the way to eat a peach, I am sure.
And not only peaches: watermelon and almost over-ripe cantaloupe drip nicely, too. There’s nothing better than freshly-picked fruit, although it’s good to remember that some needs to go into the bucket to be taken home!
While adding an additional syllable to each new line, you’ve also managed to maintain an almost perfect alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables. Were you paying special attention to the meter here, or did it just happen?
I was paying attention, and reading each revision aloud as I went. As with haiku, counting syllables is a necessary starting point, but attending to meter and rhyme makes an etheree feel more poetic — at least, to me.
To me, too.
Well darn it, now I want a peach for breakfast. Beautiful photograph. When are you going to do a book?
A book? Maybe when I’m too old to be running the country, or otherwise get grounded. I think about it from time to time — but not very hard.
I wish I could send you a peck of these peaches. I had some Red Haven peach preserves once, from American Spoon, and they were delicious, but nothing in the world beats a peach right off the tree. Unfortunately, our local ones are gone now, but we’ll still have some from farms a little farther north. We’re not suffering, though — the blueberries are in, and it won’t be long until the melons appear. It makes the heat worthwhile.
I have a 95 yr old Russian friend who’s been working for 30 yrs on a book about her and her Chester’s* experience in German work camps during WW II. Its what keeps her going, the need to leave behind a record. She has let me read sections. It is very powerful, an important document and well written in her unique English. She can’t find a publisher because she wants the word “God” in the title, and no agent will touch it. She is thinking about mortgaging her house, which she and Chester were finally able to purchase and raise their only child in, to pay for private printing. Each friday when I visit her, I am torn between advising her about wise use of resources and encouraging her to not give up. She thinks it will be important for her grandchildren; I tell her it is important for the world. Your writing is too. Someday it should be preserved in a book. Don’t give up. Don’t stop writing.
P.S. “Prufrock” was the first poem I could relate to in school. Even now I think of wearing my trousers rolled, and do. My shorts as well. I never understood about the peach though.
* Chester and Nadia made it to New York on a troop ship. Eventually she became a teacher of Russian and he a successful scientist and photographer. He died about 15 yrs ago. Nadia is still in the house alone with the spiders and roaches, though her real companions are the birds who sing to her, and of course Chester’s spirit.
* the name given him by American soldiers who couldn’t pronounce his Russian-Polish given name)
I will go with the “down chins and elbowed branches.” This was a tasty post!
I confess that ‘elbowed branches’ pleases me. Using the more mundane ‘chins and elbows’ would have kept the focus on the peach plucker — and who’s to say a tree doesn’t enjoy a little peach juice now and then?
Follow the natural course of peach juice and it greatly assists creation of a new peach tree. So in that sense the tree certainly does enjoy it.
Please tell Mr. Prufrock that we humans aren’t able to disturb the universe. Although, we are able to disturb our world.
I’m not sure about that. I frequently see universes disturbed, but that’s speaking metaphorically, rather than astronomically. A disturbed universe can be a sight to behold; Prufrock’s caution is well-taken, even if he did carry it a bit far.
I should have spelled it with a capital U.
Terrific poem, Linda!!
I don’t think that a week goes by, that I don’t think of Eliot’s poem, with lines that sometimes strike me as poignant, other times pathetic, and then others, pretty funny. “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons…” You did wonderfully with the peaches.
Those coffee spoons nearly made it into this post. It’s a line that comes to mind occasionally, usually because of an encounter with someone who seems to have a matched set in a back pocket. I always laugh when I remember it.
I love the Four Quartets, but summer is icumen in, and those are pot-roast poems: better enjoyed in winter. I’d rather eat a peach and ponder Prufrock finally rolling up those white flannels and giving a paddleboard a try. It’s the season to kick back a little, after all!
That poem does have a rather ‘juicy’ rhythm to it! It is a good read aloud etheree. I like ‘to taste what heat sends dripping-sweet’….like a rhyme within.
I’ve taken to reading these etherees aloud as I write and revise. I don’t do it all the time, but an occasional “audio check” can reveal things that need to be adjusted. I missed that internal rhyme — thanks for pointing it out!
Not all poems rhyme and some are almost prosaic. Etherees with the discipline of syllable count can tell a story in a more prosaic way. This example though has a different kind of cadence starting with the punch of “To dare to pluck, to sift..” and then the internal heat-sweet that I liked. But, on the prose side I enjoy when the measured lines read logically one onto the next as….to sift through leafy boughs in search of summer’s bounty…. So this one flows, yet has such a pleasant cadence to it….its lively and fun like summer!! Plus it has philosophy…the answer ripens as it will….
Oh, you bet I would dare to eat a peach! I wouldn’t hesitate for one minute. Peaches are one of my favorites. Not having good peaches is one of the few things I regret about living “north of north.” Over the past ten years, peaches have come to Maine, but they are not as good as the southern ones. I’m sure it’s because of the varieties farmers must use in this cold climate. But who knows? As climate change progresses, perhaps Maine will be able to grow good peaches.
My iconic midwestern foods are sweet corn and tomatoes. Good, even excellent, tomatoes can be found here, but sweet corn never is as good as corn that’s fresh from a midwestern garden. When I think of Maine, I think of blueberries, of course. We have blueberry growers here now, using new varieties made for the Texas climate, but I’ll bet they’re not as good as yours.
Our blueberries are the best! ;)
You can almost smell the peaches in that image. That’s summer. We had a peach tree at the farm when I grew up. It seemed so wonderful just to be able to go out and pick fruit off the tree instead of going through bins selecting at the grocery store. Funny, just realized so many never get that experience. We are so lucky to have orchards and farms near us still.
I always loved that poem by Eliot.
Yours is just as sweet.
I first learned cherry, apple, and plum picking: skills that I happily transferred to peaches and dewberries when I came to Texas. Picking for pleasure (or home canning) is quite different from picking for shipping — hence the difference between the Froberg strawberries and even the best from the stores. Milk from the cow, eggs gathered in the yard: sometimes I think allowing more people experience of the best of ‘real’ food would do more than anything to help end the obesity epidemic. Once you’ve tasted truly fresh, the effort to get it would beat waiting in a fast food line every time.
I’m glad you like the poem, and the photo, too. By the time I wanted the photo, I was afraid the trees would have been picked clean. The good news was the high branches that were inaccessible to people left me a lovely cluster of peaches.
Not only knowing what real food tastes like, getting out in the sun, air, and walking the rows – bugs, spiders, prickly weeds and all – is a little reminder nature is the required basis of life – and so many never have any contact with it…You are right, grocery stores do not do it.
(Canning. Oh the early summer mornings growing up with the kitchen already steamy trying to get it done before the day really heated things up before AC. )
Your talent amazes me, Linda. The poem, photo, and appreciation of T. S. Eliot all wrapped in one post. Bravo.
Isn’t it neat, the way it all came together? I started out only wanting a basket of those lovely, luscious peaches, but as so often happens, one thing led to another. I’m so glad you enjoyed the result — thank you.
Ah Linda… You are such a woman after my own heart with wonderful words strung like pearls (and peach juice down my chin; )
It’s occurred to me that, when someone asks how things are going, I’ll sometimes reply, “Just peachy.” I don’t know how that expression came to be, but it’s one of the best ways I know to describe an especially nice situation. What’s funny is that I’ve heard it used sarcastically, too. Everything depends on the tone of voice.
Peaches, on the other hand, are always wonderful — at least, when they’re ripe, juicy, and warm from the sun. Are there particular fruits in your area that provide the same sort of pleasure? I hope so!
A new one on me, Linda. Thanks!
You’re welcome, GP. When I was learning about Eliot in school, I had no idea I’d ever put one of his poems to such use. I must say, it was great fun.
And to think, we used to ask our teachers – “But when are we ever going to use this?”
That’s how I always felt about algebra and geometry. Then, decades later, I discovered sailing and had to learn coastal navigation. Oops!
Especially lovely imagery. I agree with everyone above. Elbowed branches? Wonderful. I can picture the sweetness running all the way down the the gnarled knees.
And as soon as I read your comment, I suddenly envisioned long lines of ants following those sweet trails. The mockingbirds seem as fond of peaches as of figs, too. We humans aren’t the only ones attracted to the best of nature’s bounty.
I like your addition of the knees, too. It’s been years since I’ve thought of the old expression that used to be used to describe an especially awkward person: “all elbows and knees.”
And the Texas peaches (the ones I’ve eaten) are delish this year! Your photo captures their juicy essence: lush, rich, full of summer at its best.
For years I always thought of Fredericksburg when I thought of peaches. I’m wondering if this year’s freeze cut back their crop. I certainly hope not — and I’m glad you’ve been able to find some good ones.
You’re right that they taste like summer, although the fact that the orchards here have been picked clean is a reminder that time’s a-flying, and mid-summer’s almost here. It seems only yesterday that the first spring flowers were appearing.
I wish I could take credit for choosing the peaches that we’ve had, but we belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) called Farmhouse Delivery: https://farmhousedelivery.com/ and receive a bushel of veg/fruit each week, delivered to our door. All organic, all local (withing 250 miles). The peaches we’ve had are from Lightsey Farm, Mexia, Texas.
I’ve thought about joining a CSA from time to time, but there’s just too much food for one person, and I haven’t been able to find someone willing to split a membership. Lucky you!
One of my favorite T.S. Eliot poems! “I grow old…I grow old” Eliot would approved of your poem. Very timely as it is peach time in the Texas Hill Country. I have often traveled to the area for peaches for cobblers. Your photo makes them look like jewels. Clever of you to combine all of these elements in a clever, unexpected way.
And I’ll bet you’ve rolled your trousers a time or two — maybe for beachcombing, if nothing else.
Just yesterday I was out at the farm where I photographed these peaches, and a woman arrived, hoping to pick some herself. She was crestfallen when she learned the trees had been picked clean, but cheered herself up with the thought of using peaches as an excuse for a trip to the hill country.
I know dewberries have a fine reputation, but since meeting Texas peach cobblers, I’ve always thought they should qualify as the iconic Texas dessert.
The peaches in the photo do look rather jewel-like, don’t they? They’re beautiful on the tree, but they certainly are delicious when off!
You have my full attention with this poem of summer joy and my growing admiration.
Summer joy, it is. Down here, things can begin to drag a bit in July and particularly in August, when all we want is for the heat to come to an end. But now? The fruit’s ripe, the cicadas are calling, and even the humidity’s down a bit. I couldn’t help trying to capture a bit of it, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you!
Ripe peaches? Already? I might just test a few at the greengrocers when I next go. This country doesn’t allow for peaches to grow, it’s too cold here. Ours come from Spain.
And T.S. Eliot? One of my favourite poets. I love reading him out loud, the way he plays with words and ideas is just enchanting.
One thing I’ve enjoyed about blogging is the glimpse it provides into the seasons around the world, not to mention the flora and fauna. When I first arrived in Texas back in the ’70s, I was astonished to learn that strawberries were available in February. With this year’s strawberries already finished, the peaches fill the gap, along with the blueberries, tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers that are ready for picking. Yesterday, I checked the fig trees: the fruit’s there, but it will need a little more time before I can satisfy that urge.
Eliot’s been a favorite of mine for years. Every spring, the flood season brings to mind the Dry Salvages, with that perfect line about the river as a “strong, brown god.”
I have gladly devoured this image and poetry.
Luscious thank you.
I promised you peaches — it was easier to pluck the fruit than to arrange the words, but here they are, and I’m glad you enjoyed them.
I can’t help wondering if your comment is a sly take on William Carlos Williams’s famous poem. Whether it was meant to be or not, it brought his poem to mind, and it’s pretty darned delicious itself:
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
The peaches this year in Australia were very juicy and tasty. This morning I had a pear just as juicy. It took two paper napkins to soak up excess juice.
A two-napkin pear is a thing of beauty and a joy forever — or at least a joy for as long as it lasts. Still, you have the memory of those peaches, and memory can be just as sweet. I know so little of your country — do you have fresh fruits from farther north throughout the winter, or do they have to be imported?
An excellent complement to Mr. Prufrock’s query. This and The Hollow Men are favorites.
I don’t believe I have ever picked a peach although I’ve had more than my share of chin dripping juicy peaches.
There’s something for nearly everyone in Eliot, I think. Even in his longer pieces that aren’t generally appealing, I have favorite passages that have stayed with me for years. When I was young, I had no appreciation for Prufrock, but age and experience have made him more relevant, and even more appealing.
I love picking fruit. When I still had the squirrel, I enjoyed going out and harvesting fresh acorns for him, too. Maybe that’s why I enjoy my work as I do. What others see as dull and repetitive, I experience as dull, repetitive, but somehow satisfying.
Ah, I finally am able to like your comment too. I usually respond through the email notifications. It’s become a habit. Not sure I can break it.
Apparently, pondering on peaches leads to great poetry!
At least in this case I seem to have plucked a few sweet words. They weren’t quite as drippy as the peaches, but they satisfied me just as much. Not only that, it’s easier to share the words than to get the peaches shipped to you!
Beautiful words, thoughts, and images sprouting from Prufrock. That’s one of my favourite poems of TSE. I love all yours too, so juicy, especially appreciate this phrase: “to sift through leafy boughs in seach of summer’s bounty” Makes me think of my birding experience… always sifting through leaves to find a bird.
And I love the way you expanded that branch-sifting image to include your hunt for birds — very nice, and appropriate now that spring and summer have come your way. I saw you’ve been birding at the pond again, and I’m anxious to see what you’ve found. I know it has to have been pleasurable just to be outdoors again. We’re having a week of lower humidity that’s a bit of an extension of spring, and everyone’s enjoying it.
Oh my goodness! I have not thought about “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” for decades! Our mother used to make us memorize poetry, and this one was hers (she played along, and gave herself one of the longest and toughest). I will never forget many of the lines. I remember all of my own Yeats and Tennyson and Frost and many others’ poems as well. What a fun memory. And peaches – my favorite fruit. And a short read – all I can manage these days. You’ve triple-scored!
Triple-scores are good — hooray for me! Whatever you’re up to, I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I’ve been enjoying some recent short travels. I’ve thought of you a time or two, and have meant to ask whether you’ve been to Enchanted Rock. It’s getting a little hot now for hiking there, but it certainly would be a great destination when things cool off.
I’ve read a few articles recently whose authors were breathless with excitement over a new teaching technique: memorization. I just laugh. Everything old is new again, it seems. There’s no question that our mothers and teachers left us with a rich heritage to draw on. The substitution of memes for memorization and emojis for words is a first step on the path back to the caves as far as I’m concerned, but I’m getting old and turning crotchety. So be it, sez me.
I have been to Enchanted Rock, and I was enchanted! We did a quick hike there one day and found it geologically fascinating. I’ve been doing lots of hiking-specific training these days (filling my days, along with work and daily chores), and I just returned from some nice, long (10-15 miles/day) test hikes in Marin County, CA, which I managed to visit by tagging along on a paid business trip for my husband. Lucky me! Maybe I’ll get around to a post …
I followed your link to the poem which I had never read before. ‘Measured out my life with coffee spoons’ – a touch of Shakespeare in that it is a phrase I knew but not the author
Isn’t it funny how that happens? It’s really quite delightful that lines of poetry can move into popular culture and become common usage even among people who say they don’t like poetry. Of course, Eliot’s “The Naming of Cats” became a musical, and some lines (like “not with a bang but a whimper”) have been used in so many contexts they’re probably uncountable. Like Shakespeare, his work’s filled with such gems.
I think folks miss out on a wonderful experience when all they get are peaches fresh at the grocery store, don’t you, Linda? I mean, there’s something so magical about eating fresh peaches right off the tree and letting their sweetness drip right down your face! Of course, peaches aren’t in season here yet, but everybody hopes they’ll be plentiful. Beautiful Etheree, with fantastic imagery!!
That’s true with any food, I think. I brought home some tomatoes I plucked from their vines last night, and I don’t need to tell you how different they are from what comes into the stores. Even those labeled “local” or “organic” in the stores pale in comparison. It’s understandable — a warm, fully ripe tomato or peach can’t be shipped — but it’s also a reminder to search out local, seasonable produce even if it takes a little effort.
I was a little surprised by how well this etheree worked. Now, I just hope I can do it again.
By the way — I saw a sign along the road yesterday that said, “Start a summer band.” Do you have another concert in the works?
Actually, we do, Linda! Our director hands out 8-10 new pieces every Tuesday; we run through them in practice and perform them in concert TWO days later — imagine that! Talk about Baptism by Fire, ha!!
Now I have a craving for a peach… and to re-ingest some of Eliot’s masterful poetry!
I feel that only a profoundly enlightened person could fully understand his poetry… and only a profoundly enlightened person could have written it!
Peaches and poetry make a fine combination, don’t you think? The peaches might be sweeter, but both are nourishing. As for Eliot, I think it’s partly the combination of influences in his life that help to make his poetry so rich. From the influence of the Mississippi during his St. Louis childhood, to his conversion to the Anglican church, to his deep appreciation for eastern traditions, he formed something that’s been more enduring than perhaps even he imagined.
I’d take Eliot instead of a peach any old time; both would be great, however! :)
Eliot, i feel, was a “kind-of-a-Buddhist-Taoist” in sheep’s clothing. He was no easy fool; he was knighted! :)
Peaches evoke a family memory. My dad planted two peach trees at the house they bought in 1962. They bore fruit, and for a number of years (until the borers got the trees) we had that nectar of the gods, home-made peach ice cream. It was made with eggs, cream, peaches chopped and blended, and apricot nectar. I should be that rich.
It also evoked the album of the Allman Brothers produced just before the tragic death of Duane Allman, “Eat A Peach” which title drummer Butch Trucks said was a sly reference to the above-mentioned Eliot poem.
That ice cream recipe’s interesting. We made strawberry ice cream, but we never chopped and blended the berries; we only added them to the ice cream. I suspect blending the peaches and adding that apricot nectar would have made something indescribable to someone who’s never had it. Of course, even homemade vanilla ice cream is something impossible to describe to someone who’s only had ice cream from the store. I’ll never say a bad word about Bluebell, but there’s a reason they call it “Homemade Vanilla” and use country-and-family themed commercials.
I’ve always liked “Melissa” and “Ain’t Wastin’ Time,” but I didn’t realize “Eat a Peach” was the name of the album they came from. Speaking of the Allman/Trucks connection, have you ever seen the video of 13-year-old Derek Trucks opening for the Allman Band? “Layla” is good, but the jam that starts about 2:40 is unbelievable.
How wonderful you are already getting fresh peaches. Oh my goodness I am craving one now. Only a few more days before the “Peach Truck” will arrive for their weekly visits. They know Wylie and will offer him a “treat”, a small slice of a fresh peach. Loved the poem. It would be wonderful to pick my own peach off the tree and eat it, but I have to settle for picking up my case of them.
At least you get good peaches. Where do they come from? Are there orchards there in Kansas, or are they from… Arkansas, maybe? It tickles me that Wylie gets a peach treat, too. I’ve never known a fruit-eating dog, but of course I’ve never known one that got a potato-frosted elk birthday cake, either. I do know a cat that likes lettuce, so I guess we never know what will appeal.
I’m just so happy to see your photos of the haying, and all those signs of summer. Some sunshine and dry weather after all that rain ought to set a lot of crops on a good course–not only the fruits!
This is your peach season? We have to wait until the end of August.
Actually, we’re almost past our peach season, although some farmers I buy from will have fruit for a few more weeks; they’re about three hours north, and come down for a farmers’ market every weekend. Blueberries are in now, and the fig trees have set fruit. If there’s anything I enjoy more than peaches from the tree, it might be figs, provided the birds don’t get them all.
Well done on all accounts–the diction, the structure, the imagery. Eliot, himself, might have given you a compliment (although I am not so sure).
If I could get him to roll up his trousers, come out to the orchard, and eat a peach, I’ll bet I’d get a compliment: perhaps not for the poem, but who would care about that? It would be fun to see his inner midwesterner come out again.
I really like the image of an answer “ripening,” and so being fruit: first a blossom, then forming a shape, and maturing while it draws deeply from the ground over which it hangs; and slowly it matures until the time is right to take this answer and eat it. Lovely.
I like that you picked up on that last line, Allen. Perhaps that’s why some of the answers being sold in the marketplace of ideas are so tasteless and bland. They weren’t allowed to ripen, but were plucked too soon by those unwilling to wait – or unable to recognize when the time for harvest had come.
What a peachy keen post, photo, poem! You do have a way with words. Read your poems aloud — twice to hear and feel the rhythms. Fresh plucked fruit offers such rich flavor that cannot be matched at the store. Am reminded white peaches are presently available for which I’ve developed a taste as generally prefer the luscious yellow meat ones.
The orchard where I took this photo has both white and yellow varieties, and this year the white were luscious. They were a little smaller than the yellow, so I favored them for eating out of hand and stayed with the yellow for baking and freezing; the yellow’s larger size made the tasks go more quickly.
This poem does have a bit of a bounce to it that I really like. Part of the trick, of course, is not becoming impatient and publishing too soon, just because the syllable count is right. Even poems sometimes need to ripen a bit!
You stunned me here, Linda, with your words and thoughts and the profoundness of T.S.Eliot’s poem and how it fit into your moments of the current peach season. Gorgeous photo too. Thanks for this sweet summer visit.
One of the benefits of taking in music, poetry, and art more deeply than a casual glance is that they become part of us, available to be drawn on in the oddest of circumstance: like a peach orchard. Eliot’s been a favorite for decades, and one of the best things I ever did was buy a copy of his complete works. There are some gems in there that appeal to me as much as his most famous works.
I was happy with that photo. It seemed to capture the bright liveliness of the peaches in just the right way.
A juicy poem, and a fine image. Enjoy those peaches!
Thanks, Tom. I wish I’d been able to capture the scent of those ripe peaches that was wafting through the orchard. There wasn’t any need to sniff one at close range; the fragrance was discernible from quite some distance. When the air smells like peaches taste, it’s as close to perfection as I’ve found.
Making the little decisions sometimes seems more difficult than making the bigger ones.
Oh, my. Isn’t that the truth? When I used to take my mother grocery shopping, the time spent in front of the yogurt or cereal selection could be considerable. On the other hand, as the range of decision-making possibilities decreases, it may be that the pleasure of making even small decisions increases.
I like this poem of yours very much. Sometimes it takes courage to break past our inner doubts, and when we do, juice dripping from our chins, we find our answers.
That’s exactly right. Of course, it’s worth remembering that some answers can’t be forced. They need time to ripen, just like a peach. It’s easy to get over-eager because of anxiety or uncertainty and try to move things along — but anyone who’s bitten into a gorgeously colored, fuzzy peach and found it hard as a rock knows how valuable that extra time on the tree can be!
Oh, boy, is that ever true! Up here we really don’t get the juicy ones very often.
Just wonderful! The sight of those peaches has my mouth watering.xxx
Strange that I don’t think of fruit when I think of your country, Berries, maybe, but none of the plums, cherries, apples, and peaches that we have. I hope you have them, as there’s just nothing like fruit fresh from an orchard. I need to have a look. You certainly have the flowers and veggies!
love this post, for it sounds like me at times! thank you for making me smile, love Michele
Smiles are good — and with your recent frustrations with the house, a few more smiles can’t hurt. I’m glad to have provided one.
His indecision is possibly what I appreciate above all else. In your response, I taste the daring required to eat a peach. Brava.
It’s so human, isn’t it? Today I suppose we call it analysis paralysis, but so much of our indecision doesn’t rise to consciousness. I’ve come to think that’s part of the power of the poem. Even as we smile at Prufrock, we recognize ourselves in his behavior and thoughts.
It’s amazing how poetry can give so much life to a colorful image like this one with Nobel prize winner T. S. Eliot:
‘And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all.”’
That poem is filled with so many wonderful passages, and the refrain — “that is not what I meant at all” — gives it a certain added poignancy. Eliot just never gets old.
We are just getting into the season of fresh Niagara peaches in Ontario, an event anticipated all winter long. When the first crop is available we gorge and drip and slurp, and then when sated, turn to making peach pies for the freezer and peach chutney for barbecued pork chops. It’s a peach of a time.
No frozen pies here, but frozen peaches for pie and cobbler? Yes, indeed. As much as we enjoy the beginning of the harvest, I can imagine it’s even sweeter for you after your long, cold winter. I’d not heard of Niagara peaches, but a quick look of previous years’ news stories confirms that mid to late July is picking time — gorge, drip, and slurp away!
This year’s peaches were equivalent to this year’s wildflower crop: bountiful and memorable. I wish I could plunk a peck of them on your doorstep so you could enjoy them, too.
Wish I could say the same about our California peaches. They have been disappointingly bland!
I wonder if it’s a result of too much rain. The tomato crop I’d been enjoying suddenly went over the edge after we got significant rain. Water for growing plants is good; too much water for ripening fruit doesn’t always bring deliciousness.
I enjoyed the experience of a new poetry genre to my eyes. Pardon me, I need to wipe the peach juice from my chin.
I really enjoy the etheree form, although I only use it when it “comes to me” as being appropriate. Often, I’ll have a line with a certain number of syllables come to mind first, and then I use that as a starting point.
As for the peaches — I wish their season weren’t so short. On the other hand, the invention of the freezer means there can be peach cobbler for Christmas!
Delicious, you are one smart cookie!
Thank you, my friend,
for the use of your
post office box number!
Sorry you can’t tolerate
citrus straight from an orange tree
from a package thawing our winter blues.
We can’t grow citrus in our own state.
The picker got our address wrong,
Our alternative was you.
Some of those juicy orbs
with your good name
Not quite as literary as your peachy Prufrock, but I made an attempt, nonetheless! I enjoyed your post!
That’s wonderful! You not only got the form down perfectly, you made me laugh. Not only that, you got me to go into the kitchen, pick up a couple of clementines, and peel them. Now I’m reading your etheree again with citrus juice running down my chin!