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Plants and Prose

Can You Name This Bard of Berries?

I picked up blueberries last night at an undisclosed farm market outside Pittsfield, MA. YUCH. Let this not be a harbinger of local berries to come. For today, then, I take solace in the visual beauty and poetic possibilities of the fruit.


When the market produce disappoints, there's always the macro lens. photo credit: dklimke hide caption

toggle caption photo credit: dklimke

And now for the poetic challenge. Without using Google (restrain yourself, please!), who wrote the poem about today's featured fruit that these lines are taken from?

"It must be on charcoal they fatten their fruit.

I taste in them sometimes the flavour of soot.

And after all really they're ebony skinned:

The blue's but a mist from the breath of the wind,

A tarnish that goes at a touch of the hand,

And less than the tan with which pickers are tanned."

On-your-honor winner gets a Talking Plants keyring. On my honor.



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Is it Dr. Suess?

Sent by Sharon T | 11:22 AM | 7-24-2007

Robert Frost. He seems to like a heavy ponderous verse.

Sent by Patricia | 2:19 PM | 7-24-2007

Edna St. Vincent Millay lived on Ragged Island where there are rockledges for blueberries and 6-foot raspberry plants with ferocious spines!

Sent by Naomi | 3:11 PM | 7-24-2007

Go up the south road to Mt. Greylock. There were some nice wild blueberry patches along the side. They're smaller than the cultivated bush berries though but have more flavor.

Sent by John | 3:38 PM | 7-24-2007

My GUESS is Robert Frost...

Sent by Shannon | 9:10 PM | 7-24-2007

Silly and rhyming... Ogden Nash?

Sent by Jessica | 1:01 PM | 7-25-2007

Oh, Jessica, you will regret that!

Sent by Ketzel Levine | 1:06 PM | 7-25-2007

Yes, that has to be Robert Frost.

Sent by Carrie | 1:10 PM | 7-25-2007

late Wordsworth?

Sent by C. K. Prince | 1:27 PM | 7-25-2007

I have to go with the Frost guess...and I've had blueberries he has described so well in this rhyme.

Sent by Marilyn | 1:49 PM | 7-25-2007

seamus heany - "blackberry picking"?

Sent by Emily | 1:56 PM | 7-25-2007

Hi Campers - And the winner is...

FROST, of course. Think I'd make our first fruit quiz hard? I want you guys to come BACK, after all. Frost's BLUEBERRIES is a conversation between two geezers (probably my age) talking 'berries over the farm fence.

But I'm torn - should I send ALL you Frost people little TP booties? I ask because I have to go to the post office to send one, so could be persuaded to send a bunch.

Or does that cheapen the value of the adorable green Wellington booties keyring?

Sent by Ketzel Levine | 6:36 PM | 7-25-2007

It's Robert Frost! My wife teaches summer camp for 4-10 year olds, and did a gardening theme a couple of weeks ago. She made a poster with this poem on it for one of the classrooms, and I am heavily addicted to blueberries, so it caught my attention. I had never heard it before then. Funny...

Sent by Jon Romero | 6:28 PM | 8-4-2007