Ten Fruits Ruined by Poetry

Where would poetry be without fruit? It would be, like Paradise, lost, but poetry has done fruit no favors in reverse. It’s summertime and I for one would like to eat a berry or a stone fruit without unwittingly referencing some mid-century verse*. The below fruits, alas, are all off the table:

1) Plums, ruined by William Carlos Williams and further ruined by Charles Wright

2) Peaches, ruined by T.S. Eliot and further ruined by John Ashbery

3) Apples, ruined by John Milton and further ruined by Robert Bly

4) Bananas, ruined by Allen Ginsberg

5) Grapes, ruined by Walt Whitman and further ruined by Gary Snyder

6) Blackberries, ruined by Robert Hass

7) Pears, ruined by Stanley Kunitz

8) Watermelons, ruined by Charles Simic

9) Oranges, ruined by Gerald Stern

10) Cherries, ruined by Lucien Stryk

*A disturbing number of these fruit poems appear in the A. Poulin, Jr. Contemporary American Poetry anthology, and as you can see, white male poets are the worst offenders.

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