Alwyn Marriage

Possibly a pomegranate

it makes no sense to speculate
on mundane details of a far-fetched story,
including the nature of the fruit
Eve picked in the Garden of Eden;
myths may appear unreal and playful,
but they present us with the mystery
that our oldest stories sometimes hold
more truth than history.

The closeness of the Latin words
for apple and for evil makes it tempting
to substitute one for the other;
and artists down the ages
have perpetuated the confusion,
giving flesh to the mythical fruit,
and displaying with veracity and tenderness
the juicy plumpness of an apple.

The point is not how many seeds were
in the fruit, how sweet or sour or round
it was, but what explanation the creative mind
of generations could come up with to account
for the way things are: the hubris of humanity,
our meddlesome nature, our inability
to live at peace in paradise
and our capacity for choosing evil.

But if we take the story at face value,
it may, indeed, have been an apple,
or possibly a pomegranate.

malum = evil
mälus = apple

Alwyn’s ten books include poetry, non-fiction and a novel. She has won several competitions, is widely represented in magazines, anthologies and on-line, and gives readings all over the world.  Formerly a university philosophy lecturer, Director of two international NGOs and Rockefeller Scholar, she’s currently Managing Editor of Oversteps Books and research fellow at Surrey University.

You can see and hear Alwyn
reading the above poem at