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Calmly Degutting Pears : Social Study by Michael Baldwin

Update: 20/02/14
Michael Jesse Baldwin, poet and novelist, born 1 May 1930; died 3 February 2014

Michael Baldwin obituary on The Guardian


My original post

It must have been 4 or 5 years ago when I made a little blog post asking if anyone could remember a poem which had the line Calmly Degutting Pears in it.

The reason I was asking was because it was a poem I had never forgot which we studied when I was in school in the mid 70’s but just couldn’t remember the full title or the authors name.

I initially though it was something like Social Studies by M Baldwin and after lots of digging and searching found I wasn’t far wrong as it was A Social Study by Michael Baldwin (at least I’m 95% sure that is correct)

So why this post now 4 years later?

Over the past fortnight my webstats have revealed a sudden rise in people searching for Calmly degutting pears, Calmly degutting pears Michael Balwin, degutting pears, etc.

I hope the reason for the sudden increase in interest about Michael Badwin and Calmly De-Gutting Pears is because poem is being studied again, please let me know by commenting below.

And for those of you looking for A Social Study here you go;

While my mother ate her heart out,
And my father chewed the chairs
My sister worked in a factory,
Calmly degutting pears

The green ones like spinach,
The yellow ones like sick
She carefully disemboweled,
With a deft little flick

She never seemed to worry,
Or share the family fears
But thoughts like bees were buzzing,
Inside those golden ears

She jilted a tin carpenter,
And then a labeller’s mate
And finally she married,
The man that nails the crate

She had two lovely children,
Called Dorothy and Clem
They’re hanging her tomorrow,
For calmly degutting them

A Social Study: Michael Badwin

Just to add: I have found this great page about Michael Baldwin and a list of his other poetry, short stories and novels here – http://rjdent.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/michael-baldwin/

I’m off now to see if I can track down a copy of Grandad with Snails


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