More about pomegranates. In a book called The Origin of Plants, I read that Henry IV of France took the pomegranate as his device with the motto "sour and sweet". The book quotes a poem by Andre Gide:
A little sour is the juice of the pomegranate
Like the juice of unripe raspberries.
Waxlike is the flower
Coloured as the fruit is coloured.
Close-guarded this item of treasure,
Richness of savour,
Architecture of pentagons.
The rind splits; out tumble the seeds,
In cups of azure some seeds are blood;
On plates of enamelled bronze, others are drops of gold.
We greet the fish and chip shop owner on his way into the Compasses for a pint. "Terrible, " he says, "Nothing works when you get to 79!"
The wax-like red flowers (perhaps a little like the wax-like, red flowers of the pomegranate) of Japonica ride up some railings in Mount Sion. You want to say that, in the perfection of their shape, they look almost as good as artificial flowers. But the light comes off them more with more confidence than if they were really made of wax.