In 2005, our friend Anik See gave us a beautiful little book, Turkish Pears in August: 20 Ramages, by Robert Bly, printed by Gaylord Schanilec at Midnight Paper Sales (www.midnightpapersales.com). Ramage is the name Bly gives for the brief 8 line poems in the collection: “The word occasionally appears as the name of a movement during some French compositions for flute; it is related to the French noun for “branch.” We can hear the root of that in “ramify”. The tunings of these things is like tuning on horseback some sort of stringed instrument from the Urals.”
The title poem celebrates “old pleasures abundant/As Turkish pears in the garden in August.” I thought of those ramages yesterday when I saw these peaches in Claytons in Sechelt, so richly coloured, so deserving of their own poem. Or at least their own golden eloquence in jars on a dark shelf, scented with vanilla bean and ginger.