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Patricia Spears Jones: I’m Patricia Spears Jones, and this is PoetryNow.

You are watching: Beulah peel me a grape meaning

(Audio clip indigenous I’m No Angel plays: “Beulah. / correctly m’am. / Peel me a grape.”)

I love cinema. I love movies. And I saw plenty of movies as soon as I was a teenager. And many that them were Mae West movies, and they remained in her mind due to the fact that Mae West to be such an outsized character.


“Beulah peel me a grape” actually originates from an I’m No Angel Mae West character. She’s a nightclub singer. The personality is frustrated due to the fact that she has to undo relationships v these male characters who are sort of evil, so the she have the right to be with the male character who’s no so evil. And the only person who knows every one of the ins and outs that this, of course, is her maid, who is Beulah. It’s not, Beulah peel me a grape, and then choose this up and then—that’s not where she’s going. And also then Beulah goes turn off wherever and also says, five the hell v the grape.


Beulah peel me a grapeFirst, Beulah has actually no idea where the damn grape is.She just acquired her manicure and frankly could care less.She does discover the cocky Cockney cute.But, therefore does that glittery Lil and well---It’s Lil’s huge Show.Lil has blood on she hands, and rubs in the almondscented lotion, if she waits for the peeled grape.Beulah pours a large portion the ginand recalls the Minstrel shows, Bessie Smith,chicken dinners in a picnic basket,and a male named Roy. He was no prince,but a king of the bedroom rambles.Elsewhere, boots are beating the ground, leavingbloodied feet and untended harvestsas glass breaks throughout the deals with of polishing Jewsand the Spanish republic fight black clad insurgents.More boots, pretty, shiny, well-made boots.“until the war” says Tom inThe Glass Menagerie.When America sit in a “dark room” and also watches“until the war”. Death’s stench rolls acrossthe Atlantic, a an effective fog. Meanwhile,The dapper heroes roam landscapes as fakeas their stage names and also the heroines rollup their stockings or sweat the chorus line however notMiss Lil and also the disobedient Beulah, both swayinglarge hips and also rolling brown eyes, generouslyAwaiting a man’s tongue sucking

* * *

Miss Lil and the disobedient Beulah—because she does not peel those grapes—both get to have whoever man they desire at the end of this poem, since you know, I’m a woman who thinks that women should have actually what they want. (LAUGHS)


And it’s a comic moment. I desire it come be—I desire it to start in a comic moment, and I want it to end in a comic moment. I didn’t desire this to be so dark and daunting and awful. Because the world is dark and daunting and awful, however not every the time.

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Katie Klocksin: that was Patricia Spears Jones and her city “Beulah peel me a grape.” I’m Katie Klocksin and this is PoetryNow, a production of the Poetry structure and the WFMT Radio Network. For an ext about this series, walk to