Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

The well of love

‘Stay me with raisins, comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love’

                                          The song of songs, which is Solomon’s

Raisins are all very well in their place

—in muesli, say, or maybe Christmas cake,

or more appropriately, Suliman’s pilaf.

But stay me not with them, nor comfort me

with apples, for I am well of love.

The usual translation is not raisins

but flagons.  Flagons might indeed

distract me, or Suliman, from his pilaf.

But stay me not with raisins nor

with flagons, for I am well of love.

Apples may perhaps be comforting

as any fruit, though Suliman’s pilaf

is real comfort food.  But comfort me not

with apples, nor with pilaf.  I can't speak

for Suliman, but I am well of love.