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Poem about a woman who works in a factory degutting pears | 09-Jul-09

Enquirer is looking for a poem about a woman who "works in a factory, calmly degutting pears... the yellow ones lick sick... she calmly deguts them with a deft little flick" and then goes on to degut her children.

They remember it from school around 1969/1970.

17 comments have been made on this quote. Click here to read them and then add your own!


Do you know this poem? Do you have any clues to help us find it?


Comments:

we have in our language..to be tranlated to Eng..
perugu ramakrishna

I've been looking for this for a long time too.
I always thought the poet was Michael Badwin, but searches haven't revealed anything.

Final verse was,
She had two lovely children
Called Dorothy and Clem
They're hanging her tomorrow
For calmly degutting them.
Tee Jay

Just to add, I always thought the title was "Social Studies" but again searches have revealed nothing.
Tee Jay

while my father ate his heart out and my mother chewed the stairs my sister worked in a factory calmly degutting pears. the green ones like spinach, the yellow ones like sick she calmly diembowelled them with a deft little flick
catherine hussey

I studied this poem at school in the early 70s. I thought the title was 'Social Study'
Lynn MacDonald

I too have been looking for this poem - and can only remember the last 2 lines! I believe that we used this in O-Level Sociology (maybe English?), about 1972?- 1973?
Denise Roberts

Could it possibly be 'Social Studies' by Mary Neville, which begins 'Woody says, "Let's make our soap'? This poem was published in an anthology in 1973 called Poems One Line & Longer. Unfortunately, we don't have the book to hand to confirm.
Poetry Library

I first heard this poem in my school circa 1964, my recollections is of it being written in the late 1950s.
Lena Smith

Well, it is nearly 12 months on ann still no wiser :o(
Mary Neville doesn't ring a bell and searches still dom't reveal anything, amazing that in this day and age of google we can't find any information.
Tee Jay

She dated a tin carpenter and then a labellers mate and finally she married the man who nails the crate
Lisa Howfield

Another year on and still not found the absolute answer.
It's obviously just a short poem amongst a collection which was used by English Language lecturers in mid 70's

Could originally be from "How Chas. Egget lost his way in a creation myth" Michael Baldwin 1967


I think it is called Social Study (or A Social Study) rather than Social Studies.
Tee Jay

The poem is called 'Social Study' & it is by Michael Baldwin I studied if for 'O' level English in 1985. In those days you had to memorise all your poems!!

Its been a while but here goes.....

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

The green pears like spinach, the yellow pears like sick she calmly diembowelled them with a deft little flick

She never seemed to worry or share the families fears,
But thoughts like bees were buzzing inside her golden ears.

She jilted the tin carpenter and then the labellers mate,
And finally she married the man who nails the crate.

She had two lovely children called Dorothy & Clem
They're hanging her tomorrow for calmly degutting them

Hope that helps


Trash Loach

The title is indeed "Social Study" by Michael Baldwin have it in front of me can find in a book called "Here Today: Modern Poems Introduced" by Ted Hughes
Trash Loach is correct
Blair McGill

I can put it on here:

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 gently disemboweled them with a deft little flick.

She never seemed to worry,about the family fears,
but thoughts, like bees, were buzzing
inside her golden ears.
She jilted the tin carpenter,
and then the labourer's mate,
and finally she married, the man who nails the crate.

She had two lovely children
called Dorothy, and Clem.
They're hanging her tomorrow,
for calmly degutting them.
Julia Henderson


Green pears like spinach, yellow pears like sick, She gently disembowels with a deft little flick.
Susan Kennington

I read this poem in 1966 at school, and I remember the penultimate line being : "she and two lovely children named JOSEPHINE and Clem." I didn't like the poem then but it stuck in my head.
Ben Bennett

While my mother ate her heart out,
My father chewed the chairs
My sister worked in a factory
Calmly degutting pear.
The green pears were like spinach
and the yellow pears like sick
She gently disembowelled
with a deft little flick
She jilted a tin carpenter
and then a labourers mate
and finally she married
the man who nails the crate
She had two lovely children
called Dorothy and Clem
they are hanging her tomorrow
for calmly degutting them.
Alicia Whittick


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