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"Chocolate" by Rita Dove

TFTL Rita Dove headshot 2023
Photo by Fred Viebahn



Rita Dove is the Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. Ms. Dove was the U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993-95, the Virginia Poet Laureate from 2004-06, and the 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner for her book Thomas and Beulah. Lifetime Learning is honored to highlight three poems from Rita Dove. "Chocolate" is our February offering. 






Velvet fruit, exquisite square
I hold up to sniff
between finger and thumb —

how you numb me
with your rich attentions!
If I don't eat you quickly,

you'll melt in my palm.
Pleasure seeker, if I let you
you'd liquefy everywhere.

Knotted smoke, dark punch
of earth and night and leaf,
for a taste of you

any woman would gladly
crumble to ruin.
Enough chatter: I am ready

to fall in love!


Reprinted from Collected Poems 1974–2004 (New York: W. W. Norton, 2016) by permission of the author.


TFTL girl with chocolate whisk