Possibly a Pomegranate by Alwyn Marriage (Palewell Press)

Tears in the Fence

The pomegranate with its abundant red seeds provides a perfect motif for these poems which are subtitled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ – a theme which Alwyn Marriage explores across different cultures through memory, creativity, and myth.

The theme of fruit is a constant in the collection. The title poem offers the fascinating suggestion that it may have been a pomegranate that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden but I was mostly intrigued by the background etymology that shows how the wordmalum,in Latin, is synonymous with both evil and apple – a confusion perpetuated by artists ‘down the ages’ who have given ‘flesh to the mythical fruit’ and displayed it as an apple in all its ‘juicy plumpness’.

These are the key words – ‘juicy plumpness’ – which reference birth and motherhood inPossibly a Pomegranatewhere women offer ‘breasts to infants’ and ‘feel/their life force flow’ (‘Saturday’s…

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