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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 fruit looks like, search for some images and look for one next time you go shopping! Read the poem aloud.

The speaker in the poem says the pomegranate's juice tastes ‘of gardens/I had never seen’. Think about a fruit you like - can you taste or imagine its juices? What countries does your fruit grow in? What might the juice make you think of? Write down some words about the look and taste of your fruit.

Now go back to the poem and look at how the pomegranate is described. Which do you like best? How does the description of this pomegranate compare with the look and taste of your chosen fruit?

Notice that there are two speakers in the poem - the father and the child. They each describe the pomegranate differently. How can you use your voice to bring out the differences?

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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