“…old pleasures abundant”

august fig.jpg

A book I turn to in summer is a beautiful edition of Robert Bly’s Ramages, published by Gaylord Schanilec’s Midnight Paper Sales in 2005. This was a gift from Anik See, friend and co-conspirator in our Fish Gotta Swim Editions project. The poem”Turkish Pears” holds in it the heat and bounty of August.

Sometimes a poem has her own husband
And children, her nooks and gardens and kitchens,
Her stairs, and those sweet-armed serving boys
Who carry veal in shiny copper pans.
Some poems do give plebeian sweets
Tastier than the chocolates French diners
Eat at evening, and old pleasures abundant
As Turkish pears in the garden in August.

No veal or multiple kitchens here, no pears this August (when you read my essay “Euclid’s Orchard” you’ll understand why…), but there are old pleasures and gardens and even a sweet-armed serving boy. Errr, man. And if not Turkish pears, at least Ficus carica ‘Brown Turkey’, which we ate last evening stuffed with Boursin cheese and wrapped in proscuitto. And I’ve just picked more.