Sweet Burning, Meadow Milk
Nov. 11, 2002 ]
I stand on the threshold. Girlish fancies and dark adulthood. Being 22 is no help. You are still young enough to harbour idealistic fantasies but jaded enough to be bitter and cynical. And it hurts. Far too much. (added 03.02.03)
The crossed apple is an emblem of the gift of womanhood. It symbolises renewal, rebirth and death. It is also the burden of womanhood; the fruit of knowledge, the temptation of Eve. It is the cross we bear. The red is knowledge. The white is innocence. There are other meanings of course. But this is the one that strikes you first.
The Crossed Apple
I've come to give you fruit from out my orchard,
Of wide report.
I have trees there that bear me many apples.
Of every sort:
Clear, streaked; red and russet; green and golden;
Sour and sweet.
This apple's from a tree yet unbeholden,
Where two kinds meet,
So that this side is red without a dapple,
And this side's hue
Is clear and snowy. It's a lovely apple.
It is for you.
Within are five black pips as big as peas,
As you will find,
Potent to breed you five great apple trees
Of varying kind:
To breed you wood for fire, leaves for shade,
Apples for sauce.
Oh, this is a good apple for a maid,
It is a cross,
Fine on the finer, so the flesh is tight,
And grained like silk.
Sweet Burning gave the red side, and the white
Is Meadow Milk.
Eat it, and you will taste more than the fruit:
The blossom, too,
The sun, the air, the darkness at the root,
The rain, the dew,
The earth we came to, and the time we flee,
The fire and the breast.
I claim the white part, maiden, that's for me.
You take the rest.