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Handout 1: Pear's Complaint

Greg Youmans

I have raged for thousands of years.

I was on the other tree in Eden

and I escaped Greece unexploited by the Gods.

I never was fruit of fantasy for seers and bards,

nor the food of tales for old wives.

For I am not so red, not so self-contained,

no so easily held or thrown.

Never have poets said "the pear of mine eyes,"

nor any of my kind served homage to the teacher's desk

and I keep no children from the dentist's drill.

Yet my veins run sweeter

and my flesh more tender.

Slit my skin with baby's teeth

and run my juice down your throat.

I will feed your cells and your soul;

I will satiate your hunger.

But an hour later, I will not dance in your dreams.

You cannot grasp my complexity.

I am not ordinary enough to be your small miracle.

I am not shaped in a friendly red ball.

I am too esoteric to play roles in your myths.

So imprison me in your still life—

In a timeless bowl with the banana and grapes—

Frozen in a moment—attainable.

At other times, feed on me when passions blur sense:

In these epiphanies, I am a treat—

exotic but common, tangy but sweet, long but round.

Savor me then in the ways you can.

Then, tomorrow, return to your apple

with its insidious worm.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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