Pears & Death

Pears
To experience is to taste

I’ve never had a pear before.

No lie.

In my 31 years of living life I haven’t stopped to taste the pear. Maybe I’m not really living then. There are some things that I’ve just never been curious about. Pears happens to be one of them.

Then there came a day I was thinking about death (which I often do). I have never seen death. It hasn’t come very close to me. I’m waiting though. So as I attempted to write about death, I took the only road I knew: the ignorant one.

 

I asked my friends what pears tasted like. Their words came together to form this poem about death.

And I’m taking this poem to the Bar for a little critique. Let’s see how this one goes over…

“What’s it like when you die?”
Night time together, me and my son.
Time for soft words under soft lights
Enveloped in the covers of a dark
Night.
And then my little boy opens the mood
With his innocent question:
“Mommy, what’s it like
When you die?”
I bring him close to his home under
My bosom and try to answer
His unanswerable question…

When you die, son, maybe it’s
Like eating a pear.
Remember those pears I brought
Home last week?
      I don’t know of any fruit
      It taste like
Sometimes dying
      Has a texture like
      A peach but can
      Be grainy like
      An orange.
Dying, son,
      Is not like biting into
      An apple, breaking easily
      With a crunch
      But your teeth sink into it
Dying can
      Be like a bad pear
      That kind of crumbles and
      You’re so disappointed
      Because that wasn’t
      What you wanted
      At all.
That can happen when you die.
You
      Just kind of crumble like a bad pear
      That is no longer
      Flavorful
      It’s a bit tough on the exterior but
      Surprisingly soft yet
      Powerful on the inside. It’s like
      Succulent sand that
      Dissolves on your
      Tongue.
And even though death is
      nothing like any
      other fruit, it
      Has the taste
      of nostalgia even
      if it is your
      first time.

SAP

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6 Comments

  1. death has a taste of nostalgia even if it is your first time…great line…love the comparison to the fruit…i would say you are a lucky man never to come close…and if you want a pear i can send you one from my back yard…

    1. Thanks Brian! Fresh pears. I might need to try that. I keep telling myself to just buy one and eat it, but then I think that I’d rather refrain just so I can have a conversation piece (laugh).

  2. I like the conversational tone of the piece but I’m having a little trouble connecting to the central idea of your piece. I’m not sure whether you’re exploring what death is like for the person dying or for those who are close to a death, whose experience of death is different depending on who has died.

    My other difficulty with the piece is that there is just too much ‘death’ in it. For a metaphor to work it has to be reasonably subtle, this is more of a simile – death is like this, death is like that and it’s a little overstated for my taste. If it was my piece I would remove any mention of the word death and merely hint at it in the title, something like ‘The Demise of the Common Pear’ perhaps. The sections about the pear are sumptuous and eloquently written and I think that if you strip death from it, it would be a far more powerful piece.

    As an example I’d like to show you a poem by a very good friend of mine who I know wouldn’t mind me using this but who would probably prefer to remain anonymous. The piece is about how he feels the person he is addressing is perfect as she is but he never mentions once that it is about a person – it’s all about the avocado. What this does is leave enough ‘wiggle room’ for the reader to interpret the piece themselves.

    Communion

    Last night I sliced an avocado
    in two, twisted out its pit,
    and scooped the meat
    with a teaspoon into my mouth.

    There are no places on you
    my lips have kissed,
    but I have fallen in love
    with the idea of you,
    fruity vegetable that
    looks like leather,
    lights up my buds like a sin.

    I would never think
    to squeeze a lemon over you—
    you’re exactly to my taste!

    I hope this has given you some food for thought (pun entirely intended) and given you a few ideas about how to develop your piece.

    1. Carys,
      Definitely a lot to chew on
      or
      That’s a lot to swallow
      Ok, all kidding aside…
      I’ve done other pieces with metaphor that have worked out so much better. They’re smooth like you described above. Taking a step back, I see where I missed executing that in this piece.
      I appreciate you taking the time to provide the detailed feedback. I’m going to get this piece revised and the repost! Thanks again! Much appreciated.

  3. The theme is a challenging one… great idea to use the pear as the metaphor.

    As Carys has given her crit, it would be interesting how you can pare it down so that the feeling of death can be felt or experienced with your metaphor.

    I am learning too… so thanks for sharing this.

  4. I think it’s great that you’ve never had a pear. I have foods that I never try, not necessarily because I don’t think I’ll like them but because I want to have something to look forward to trying in my next decade of life.

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