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How to Cut a Pomegranate

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Poem Activity

Have fun with the poem by trying this...

If you don’t know what a pomegranate looks like, search for some images (look for one next time you go shopping!). The speaker says its juice tastes ‘of gardens/I had never seen’. Think of a fruit you like (if you can, ask for one to be cut open, taste its juice) - what country does your fruit grow in? What might the juice make you think of? Write down some words that describe the look and taste of your fruit.

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‘Never,’ said my father,
‘Never cut a pomegranate
through the heart. It will weep blood.
Treat it delicately, with respect.

Just slit the upper skin across four quarters.
This is a magic fruit,
so when you split it open, be prepared
for the jewels of the world to tumble out,
more precious than garnets,
more lustrous than rubies,
lit as if from inside.
Each jewel contains a living seed.
Separate one crystal.
Hold it up to catch the light.
Inside is a whole universe.
No common jewel can give you this.’

Afterwards, I tried to make necklaces
of pomegranate seeds.
The juice spurted out, bright crimson,
and stained my fingers, then my mouth.

I didn’t mind. The juice tasted of gardens
I had never seen, voluptuous
with myrtle, lemon, jasmine,
and alive with parrots’ wings.

The pomegranate reminded me
that somewhere I had another home.

How to Cut a Pomegranate

by Imtiaz Dharker