Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Never May the Fruit Be Picked

Never, never may the fruit be plucked from the bough
And gathered into barrels.
He that would eat of love must eat it where it hangs.
Though the branches bend like reeds,
Though the ripe fruit splash in the grass or wrinkle on the tree,
He that would eat of love may bear away with him
Only what his belly can hold,
Nothing in the apron,
Nothing in the pockets.
Never, never may the fruit be gathered from the bough
And harvested in barrels.
The winter of love is a cellar of empty bins,
In an orchard soft with rot.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on February 23, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“Never May the Fruit Be Plucked” was published in The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems (Harper and Brothers, 1923).

Author


Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine, on February 22, 1892. A poet and playwright poetry collections include The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver (Flying Cloud Press, 1922), winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and Renascence and Other Poems (Harper, 1917) She died on October 18, 1950, in Austerlitz, New York.

Date Published: 1923-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/never-may-fruit-be-picked