A very erotic poem by an early 20th century bad girl poet

For my birthday last year, W. Merganser gave me a copy of this volume of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poems. This year on my birthday we flipped through it and I randomly came across what I think is one of her most erotic, most sensual poems: “Never May The Fruit Be Plucked.”

The message of the poem is as erotic as the visual images:

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 into barrels.
The winter of love is a cellar of empty bins,
In an orchard full of rot.

So eat of love, fill your belly, and then revel in the abundance of passion that overwhelms your senses and surrounds you with its scent. This is the season of revelry and excess. Find the fruit of love where it hangs and devour it whole, letting the juice run down your chin until you collapse with fullness.

~ by Molly Montrevoir on December 23, 2006.

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