It is yellow in colour, as if it wore a daffodil
tunic, and it smells like musk, a penetrating smell.
It has the perfume of a loved woman and the same
hardness of heart, but it has the colour of the
impassioned and scrawny lover.
Its pallor is borrowed from my pallor; its smell
is my sweetheart’s breath.
When it stood fragrant on the bough and the leaves
had woven for it a covering of brocade,
I gently put up my hand to pluck it and to set it
like a censer in the middle of my room.
It had a cloak of ash-coloured down hovering over
its smooth golden body,
and when it lay naked in my hand, with nothing more than
its daffodil-coloured shift,
it made me think of her I cannot mention, and I feared
the ardour of my breath would shrivel it in my fingers.
Isn’t that Aphrodite’s apple?
Shafer ben Utman al-Mushafi
I had a wonderful day trip to Brogdale Farm, an orchard in Kent which houses the national fruit collection. We wandered through the ranks of apples, pears, cherries and plums. Wondering at the varieties grown, how the trees were pruned, how they would look in May when the blossom is out, and at the many shapes, sizes and colours of the fruit grown. And yes we sampled the windfall.
We came across the Quince orchard, and I don’t think I’ve ever seem a quince tree before, or not knowingly. These strange pale yellow-green fruit with a slight fury-downy coating caught my attention. But it is their scent that has lingered with me. I picked a few from the ground and now have them in a bowl in my study. Their sweet scent fills the room as I write this.
And of course I had to look and read up about these magical fruit. They are used to make jelly, jam and puddings, or they can be stuffed with meat and herbs and baked. But having heard how long they take to cook, and their general impenetrability, I’ve decided to be content to look on them and enjoy their scent.
Quince ~ the fruit of love