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Poem-a-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 250 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary and audio by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is distributed via email, web, and social media to 500,000+ readers free of charge. The series is curated by twelve poets from across the country who have wide-ranging expertise and editorial perspectives. Learn more about the 2019 guest editors and revisit the 2018 guest editors and the poems they curated. Read more about Clint Smith's approach to curating February

Never May the Fruit Be Picked

Read by the Academy of American Poets Staff.
About this Poem 

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

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.

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

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