Friday, November 21, 2014

"Forbidden, Sacred, & Symbolic

detail "Still Life with Fruit - Severin Roesen
Forbidden, Sacred, & Symbolic

Beneath leathery skin is flesh tartly-sweet as cranberry juice.
If they'd known it's bitter taste would Eve have faltered,
would Persephone still bring forth the Spring?

Adorning Persian spears bold warriors marched for victory,
Solomon poetically penned his song likening fruit to veiled bridal cheeks.
Buddhists proclaim fertility, abundance, posterity,
Islam's heavenly gardens hail a hidden seed in each.

I break open and place in water, watch seeds sink, inedible pulp float.

Imagine medieval "wounded" unicorns, dripping blood-red juice
from alabaster flanks, tamed by virgins and chained to pomegranate trees,
a reminder of Christ's imminent incarnation.

I pop seeds into my mouth enjoy explosion of tartly-sweet,
notice I've stained my new white shirt.

by Margaret Bednar, November 21, 2014

Still Life with Fruit (1852) - Severin Roesen

I struggled with the ending.  I am amazed and in awe of the rich symbolic history this fruit enjoys - but I often bypass it in the grocery store as I have stained one too many pieces of clothing.  I might come back and change the ending, but right now I'm too tired and lazy to think any further.

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations" Still Life with Fruit (Severin Roesen) 


Kerry O'Connor said...

I found the history of the fruit fascinating, as you presented it here,Margaret. I also like the way you brought the reader back to the present towards the end but the word 'stupid' seems a bit jarring in context. I shall return later to see if you decide to amend your conclusion.

Susie Clevenger said...

The beauty and history of fruit and then it is lost in a stained shirt. Love it!

Björn Rudberg said...

The story of the fruit, there is a deep symbolism hidden in the redness of its juice. The tree the taste.. It has to affect you. I remember how it was used in the kite flyer.. Really good.. And to me the smile at the end made it perfect.

Ginnie said...

You have no idea what this poem evokes for me, Margaret! When pomegranates were in season, I'd buy one for Amy each week for when she came home from school. She'd sit in the chair, I'd wrap a big towel around her neck, and she'd luxuriate there till she finished the whole thing. It's one of my greatest memories ever and still brings a tear of joy to my eye. :) Thanks for the memory.

Margaret said...

Kerry, I agree. I used my original ending and reworked the entire a bit. One of those last minute poems that really needs a time to percolate before posting. I might still okay with it a bit. Thanks for the input

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said...

The flavor and richness of fruits history really comes through in this piece . . .

Magaly Guerrero said...

Thank goodness that with the taste and the stain comes the knowledge of how to remove the latter, enjoy the former and keep on living. ♥

Marian said...

not sure how you originally wrote this, Margaret, but i love the grand scope of the whole thing coming back to and oh hell, now i stained my shirt. truthy. you can appreciate the vast mythology but you still have to live in the modern world.

Anonymous said...

Margaret, I for one particularly like the ending as it brings the poem very much down to earth, with a very human twist.

I always feel a special bond to a pomegranate as it was the first fruit I bought on my first trip to India--it happens to be relatively expensive in India, but I was convince that I was being gypped off and got into quite a fight with the vendor.


A sweet and fun poem. Thanks for the prompt. K.