Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

Ambiguous Apple

by Hayley Morton

What art thou, ambiguous apple?
Pomaceous produce of West Asian origin,
rounded perfection of pretty lady in pink,
take me as I am old lady green,
deliciously tempting red or gold.
Sweet, tart or sometimes floury,
freshly crisp, dried or stewed
sugary juice or intoxicating cider.

What art thou, ambiguous apple?
Not always as thy visage appears,
beauty skin deep with a rotten core hid.
One bad apple secretly cradling an inner corruption,
by stealth doth spoil the barrel.
Although thou may keep the doctor at bay,
equally may thou cause great harm.
Just ask Snow White, or Adam and Eve...

What art thou, ambiguous apple?
Renowned gift from student to teacher,
even Alex the Great gave thee to Aristotle.
Others are consigned to live in thy shadow,
Europeans call potato the earth-apple,
tomato originally long-suffering love apple.
Humble apple cucumber’s uniqueness downplayed,
Golden apple an insulting alias for chinese orange.

What art thou, ambiguous apple?
Thy ambition infiltrates Newton’s theory of gravity,
usurps the identity of a sprawling metropolis,
cashes in on The Beatles’ musical fame,
unashamedly targets the world of computing.
And really - the name of an actress’ daughter?!
Insatiable ego, where will it end?
Enough, ambiguous apple, enough!

Added: 30.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


Quirky and fun. Extra marks for upsetting the 'no archaic language' fashion police. Well done.