Saturday, November 10, 2012

Persephone and Pomegranates

It all started this morning when I read an email that my friend, Roger, sent me which included some pictures.  The pomegranate above is one of those pictures. It looks like it's floating in air, doesn't it?  

Roger is a fantastic gardener.  He and my best friend, Suzanne, live in Sonoma, California on about 3/4 of an acre.  Roger has planted it with many kinds of fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and 9 varieties of pomegranates with such alluring names as Kashmir, Garnet Sash, Angel Red, Pink Satin, Eversweet, Grenada, Sharp Velvet, Red Silk.  He actually put in 3407 garlic plants, 45 different varieties! I've eaten some of the garlic that he's grown and it is superior to anything you'd purchase in a market.  I usually get a box sent to me each year and it is always welcomed, always used!  Truthfully, I do not know how to cook without garlic.

Looking at the picture prompted several thoughts to go racing through my mind - Pomegranate Ginger sorbet, Fennel and Arugula salad with pomegranate seeds and last, but not least, Persephone and her pomegranate seeds.

The story of Persephone disturbed me for many years - abduction and rape by Hades who was given "the okay" by Zeus - until I started thinking of it as a story fabricated by a patriarchal culture to rewrite what the original story probably was might have been.  You know - the victors of war rewrite history. Or herstory.  I found this powerful poem, Persephone: Reprise, written by Diane di Prima - it is the final passage from a much longer poem, Loba.  I will need to buy this book of poetry and immerse myself in it.
one "life" is not more real than the other
not in "deflowering" do we come
into bloom; we have been always

there at the fluid boundary of Hades
we spring continuously into life & death
this is the province of the co-emergent mother
this is the daughter, sixteen, wrathful & ready

nor is the daughter separate from the mother
fruit within fruit; a sweetness
known only at the source where the fountain
                                           becomes itself
where fruit & seed & flower dance equally
exchanging shapes         exchanging essences

there is no knife can sever me from her
where I go down to bleed, to birth, to die
I also found a couple of articles that discuss this poem - you can find them here and here (page 172).  I thought both were interesting reads; I'm still working on getting through the second article.

Pomegranates - food for the body, food for thought.

The first picture beneath the Label section of my blog is a picture of Persephone, done by Patricia Ariel, a very gifted artist.

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