Sunday, February 07, 2016

Almond (Prunus dulcis)

One of six neglected almond trees along the back road of Cheney Manor Industrial Estate. Trading estates are often good places to look for things, because of the neglect. And no-one minds you getting close to take some photos, especially when the office behind is derelict. (Most of the almonds we see are in small private gardens and then taking pictures of them feels a bit wrong.)

Photos taken 5th February 2016 (a very early year).

Back in the autumn I saw quite a few fruits on these trees. I tried eating the nuts; they were just about OK.

My translation of a poem (momentarily featuring almond-blossom) by Karin Boye from her posthumous collection The Seven Deadly Sins, 1941:

The blossom Bitterness

Blossom blossom Bitterness,
how full you now appear
with ripe golden honey,
for all your bitter cheer.
How weighed down with your gifts,
which the almonds in the field,
so gentle and correctly dressed,
surely never yield.

Affliction and benediction:
each receives his own.
I cannot take life’s measure,
but I know that you were mine.
Your cup contained fire.
Your nectar was like gall.
Seven griefs you brewed for me,
and I drank them all.

Blossom blossom Bitterness,
how rich at last your freight
of warm golden honey,
which is like the sun’s light.
Faint with sweetness, here I stand
in all your gift’s brightness.
I will exult with Adam, and
with Job I’ll witness.

Blomman bitterhet

Blomma blomma Bitterhet,
hur står du nu så full
av guldmogen honung
för all din beskhets skull.
Hur dignar du av skänker,
som ängarnas mandelblomma
väl aldrig kunde bära,
den blidhyllta fromma.

Plåga och välsignelse --
var har väl sin.
Inte vet jag livets mått,
men vet att du blev min.
Din kalk var som eld.
Din saft var som galla.
Du bjöd sju bedrövelser,
och jag drack dem alla.

Blomma blomma Bitterhet,
hur blev du sist så rik
på varmgyllne honung,
som är solljuset lik.
Här står jag, matt av sötman
i din klarnade gåva.
Med Adam vill jag jubla.
Med Job vill jag lova.

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