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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday, 4 September 2008: A fig for Mary

Mary at Across the Pond is making some delicious fig jam and preserves. Take a look! To celebrate her culinary endeavours, I have posted an extract from DH Lawrence's very sensuous poem about figs. It is a long poem so this is just an extract to whet your appetite.

Figs by DH Lawrence

The proper way to eat a fig, in society
Is to split it in four, holding it by the stump,
And open it so that it is a glittering, rosy, moist,
honied, heavy-petalled four-petalled flower.
Then you throw away the skin
Which is just like a four-sepalled calyx,
After you have taken off the blossom with your lips.

But the vulgar way
Is just to put your mouth to the crack, and take out the flesh in one bite.

Every fruit has its secret.

The fig is a very secretive fruit
As you see it standing growing, you feel at once it is symbolic:
ant it seems male.
But when you come to know it better , you agree with the Romans, it is female....

It was always a secret.
That's how it should be, the female should always be secret.

There is a wonderful reading of this poem in the movie Women in love (1969) by Alan Bates. Willow, take a look!


Eleanor said...

Mary, if you are stopping by, I am sorry I seemed to have duplicated my comment three times on your blog. Sorry, please delete the two last! Apologise for the inconvenience.

Mary said...

I love your comment X3 - you can never stop by too often!!!!

Thanks for sharing this poem, yes it is seductive but then so was D.H. Lawrence wasn't he? His perspective on opening it as a 'heavy-petalled four-petalled flower' is correct though, for as I mentioned, the fig IS actually a flower with the fruit (seeds) inside.

OMG - Alan Bates, I have always LOVED that man!! Despite his rather short stature (I'm tall!) I've thought him such a great actor who comes across huge on stage and screen. I must rent that movie soon and hear him read the poem - Willow would be the perfect person to watch it with, if only we lived closer!!!

Thanks for the post Eleanor. I've just caught up and left comments on your recent ones - all so beautiful. Enjoy your Spring - we are anxiously awaiting Autumn with cool nights and days. Hurricane Hanna is swirling towards North Carolina and will dump some rain around here at the weekend. Hopefully our precious coastline will not receive too much damage. Then, unfortunately, both Ike and Josephine are in hot pursuit across the ocean - this season is so worrisome always. Once one has lived through tremendous hurricane damage, as we did here so far inland during Hurricane Fran (Sept.1996), renewed visions of my little cottage crushed by so many trees return with a vengeance and I dread it happening again! Keep your fingers crossed please.

Hugs - Mary.

willow said...

Eleanor, I love this D. H. Lawrence poem! "The fig is a very secretive fruit"!! And not only do I love this poem, I love Alan Bates! And can you believe I've never seen this movie? Thanks for the suggestion...I am adding it to my Netflix rental queue right now. Wish the three of us could enjoy it together! :)

Mary...Batton down and stay safe!

Paula said...

Love the poem! :)

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Eleanor, loved the poem. And I love figs too !

Carrie said...

Lovely sensuous poem...makes you want one of those sweet figs.

Nola @ AlamoNorth said...

Just found your blog via Rhondi's Thankful Thursday list. Your home is spectacular; I've never seen a modern day thatched roof! It just leaves me speechless (well, almost)!

Pearl Maple said...

Followed your link from the Fall Nesting party.

It funny watching people in a very different zone doing their thing. I think I am developing pumpkin envy but their suggestions about working with what you have have been inspiring as is your blog.

Lavinia said...

That's funny, I never thought of fruit as being male or female....

I love figs! Enjoyed a jar of fig jam over the winter....lovely on toasted English muffins. It is one of those fruits that taste best at room temperature.

willow said...

Hi Eleanor! I have a little something for you at Willow Manor. Come on over! :)