Sunday Quiz – Poems of Harvest

Title photo by Marc-Lautenbacher, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Canadian Harvest Festival (Title Photo)

Dear Readers, the beginning of October is such a time of plenty (even allowing for the endless distribution/fuel/worker shortages that are happening here in the UK) that poets have been celebrating harvest time for centuries. So, here are some excerpts from poems about fruits, vegetables and grains. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to 1)identify which food the poet is describing, 2) tell us who the poet is and 3) give us all the name of the poem. I’ve selected ten poems below, so there’s a maximum mark of 30 points.

As usual, answers in the comments by 5 p.m. on Friday 8th October please (UK time), the answers will be published next Saturday. I will disappear any answers that I see, but write your responses on a piece of paper first if you are easily influenced like me. Onwards!

The proper way to eat a xxxxxxxx, in society,
Is to split it in four, holding it by the stump,
And open it, so that it is a glittering, rosy, moist, honied, heavy-petalled four-petalled flower.


Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for


My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
xxxxxxxxxx I didn’t pick upon some bough.


It seemed to grow
until I might have made shepherd’s pie
for a whole hamlet, people who pass the day
dropping trees, pumping gas, pinning
hand-me-down clothes on the line.


My lacy green
friendship with air
gives me the confidence

to make demands
of dirt. Consider me

a prospector probing
with my own gold.


Rwanda, 2014

They appear at my doorway every morning:

golden parcels, encased in leaves;


No one ever died for a bite
of one, or came back from the dead
for a single taste: the cool flesh
cellular or stony, white

as the belly of the winter hare
or a doe’s scut, flicking,
before she mates.


There is a garden in her face
Where roses and white lilies blow;
A heavenly paradise is that place,
Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow:


Each grain is like seeds of gold bullion.
When you turn a heap with a shovel it pours
With the heavy magic of wealth.
Every grain is a sleeping princess –
Her kingdom is still to come.
She sleeps with sealed lips.
Each grain is like a mouth sealed
Or an eye sealed.


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