A humble pomegranate

My apology to those of you who view the pomegranate with religious significance, to me it is a lime in sheep skin. So here is a brief, albeit translucent, historical homily to this distasteful little Middle Eastern shrub.

***************************************************

There are over 700 varieties of pomegranate. The one I prefer is Cosmoplitan Martini.

There is loathing or liking
toward the humble pomegranate,
plum of the east,
globe from the desert sands.
Its refreshing juices
a tart invasion of the mouth,
muhamara slathered on pita,
aradana for the bowl of rice.
Chew and suck upon the arils
nested in the pulp creation,
adorning the crown and capital,
of Jachin and Boaz.
The righteousness Mitzvot fruit
carried in the robe of the Ephod,
rider on the rimmonim,
here the forbidden of the Garden.
The fatal fruit of Persephone
captive to Hades bidding,
you Sah the soul of Osiris,
the calyx of mighty Hera.
Let it be you in my kollyva
nurturing, succulent, life giving,
broken and bursting,
the symbol of the resurrection.
Growing in the gardens of Paradise
your blossoms bejewel the air,
the image of prosperity and fertility,
Loved by Bhoomidevi and Bijapuraphalasakta.
For thousands of years worshiped
as a treasure of beginnings and endings,
a leather skinned malum punicum,
behold, you are but a humble pomegranate.

Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “A humble pomegranate

  1. Thanks for this “historical homily,” Donald! I particularly like the lines:

    Let it be you in my kollyva
    nurturing, succulent, life giving,
    broken and bursting,
    the symbol of the resurrection.

    … the way you address the fruit, the symbol, in its Eastern Orthodox ritual use.

    Me, I love the Carthaginian apple, the way its rough, misshapen rind belies the bright, transparent jewels tightly packed inside, the memory of sitting with my friend in the courtyard of his neoclassical house on the island of Aegina on a hot summer day, under the fragrant shade of a jasmine plant, pulling apart the reptilian armor of a pomegranate and eating the succulent seeds one by one…

    Thanks for extending your “homiletic” skills to what you find to be a “distasteful little Middle Eastern shrub.” 🙂

    Like

  2. For such a lowly fruit, you sure have exalted its position in the world with a fantastic, image-filled history. Now, I need to get out my encyclopedia and dictionary.

    Like

  3. Hello Donald, nice to see you again!

    There is much to digest here as well as the seeds. I belong in the ‘liking’ camp but I’ve never tried your martini version! I’m off to join the others and look up who all these folks are. The pomegranate was never humble!

    Like

  4. Hi Donald,

    I really like this ode, which is how I read it. There is a wonderful summary of the fruit as myth and history, which culminates in detailing our actual origin, through its use “origin myth(s)”, and which via your deft word choice and detail really comes alive with allusions (“a tart invasion of the mouth, muhamara slathered on pita,”). In the end, the fruit is a metaphor for life, human life as both blessed and cursed, flower and death.

    Like

  5. nicely done….how the hell could not one like the great pommmy….my oldest daughter loved them from the first time I gave her one….now its pommy marti’s for her…and HER daughter loves the pommys also….thnaks for sharing this Don

    Like

  6. Hello, Don.
    It’s a real anthem! Nice work. Perhaps after reading my stupid work, you thought, “No respect. What a pagan!”
    Konstantin.

    Like

  7. I love the caption beneath the photo. As to the poem, I really liked it, especially these lines “The fatal fruit of Persephone / captive to Hades bidding, / you Sah the soul of Osiris, / the calyx of mighty Hera.” which I enjoyed reading aloud. Nicely done.

    Like

  8. Yes Donald, I agree with James. You will have to read this poem aloud when you invite guests over. Offer them some pomegranates and read them the poem. It would be a wonderful experience! I too am overwhelmed with all of the associations you have uncovered. It will take a week to fully appreciate the fruits of your labor. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  9. Donald, you extracted much juiciness from the fruit and exalted the mythmaking. A very good read. Missed ya!!

    Like

  10. “Chew and suck upon the arils
    nested in the pulp creation,”

    Yowsa! What an image! I like this very much ~ the detail is titillating indeed.

    Like

  11. You must have read the history online!
    Great job getting it all in in such a melodious way. I love the way you exult every bit of the fruit and then end with it being the “humble” pomegranate! Very nicely done!

    Like

  12. first — kudos for fitting “Bhoomidevi and Bijapuraphalasakta” into your poem.

    I’m glad you were able to maintain your decorum here and create such a melodious ode … but maybe you can hold onto that thought for the current prompt?

    😉

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s