OF GRANNY SMITH'S
--OR, OF REVOLUTIONIZING LIFE
IN SMALL BUT EFFICACIOUS WAYS
Dedicated to Granny Smith,
inventor of the Granny Smith-type apple
"You must revolutionize your life"--old, recurring radical slogan
Sometimes, even when it feels necessary, it's hard to improve upon
much less "Revolutionize Your Life"--as some people,
somewhat grandiosely I think, tend to phrase it;
But at least--if we begin with relatively small, well-defined things--
it's possible I believe,
To change things by Making Things Just A Little But Better
Take, for example, eating Apples! Obviously, it's possible to effect
just such an Improvement, with respect to eating Apples!
For example: most people seem to believe that the apples that they're fed
Should always be colored Red. (It's easy to remember I guess,
That Apples in general, are usually colored Red--I suppose that the image
most people have there, somewhere in the backs of their
minds when they reach into a grocery-store-bin to select their apples
Are Apples which are famous, like the well-known apple given to Snow
by the Witch--even though that Apple was obviously a totally deplorable Apple,
& is said to have made its victim fall asleep for years & years);
& Then there's that historically far more famous & rather more
attractive Apple, supposedly given to Adam by Eve
--The Eden-Apple, that is, the Apple alas (or else maybe unAlas?)
Of Too Much Knowledge. They were both Red, weren't they?
& Yet there's of course another kind of Apple & another color
that isn't Red at all
--It's known in America for example, as the "Granny Smith" type;
&, whoever Granny Smith was, or is, her Apples have certain
obvious advantages I think,
Which can easily be discovered, beyond the obvious Red!
To begin with, Apples of the Granny Smith-type simply last longer
than the Red type,
& the implications of that are actually quite tremendous, I think!
--For example whenever you walk into your local fruit-store
You're not likely to be met at the "Granny Smith" bin--nope, not on your life!--
by a vast mass of purportedly "fresh," and in any case
always flashily Red Apples doubtless picked just a few days before that,
But which upon closer inspection (when you pick them up & hold them up
to the light, so as to examine them for any of those suspicious,
semi-invisible brown spots), all too often you'll see
May already be well on the way to becoming one-quarter or maybe even
fully half-rotten--so that if, for example, you happen to be on your way to work,
& happen to be desperate to buy your Apple-A-Day then and there, right away
First you gotta squeeze the damn things, feeling around between those hard-to-see,
possibly rotten Apple spots
To determine if they're still what they seem; & are still relatively firm &
(yuk!) without a wayward worm.
& So sometimes, despite all your valiant efforts to find a perfect
it's easy to end up hurriedly grabbing virtually any Apple,
Eating it sooner or later around the possibly rotten spots--uncovering minor pockets
of annoying, unhealthy brown graininess with every bite-full (yuk & double-yuk!).
Nope! Not on your life!--there's none of that with the greenish,"Granny Smith"-type Apple!
--For even though they're not flaming show-offs, uniformly jacketed in
of radical Red, but rather in color are a kind of cool, somewhat skeptical, acid-green,
with some types later on even turning a kind of Mellow Gold
& Have got, of all pleasantly surprising things, tiny little speckles all over their jackets
(which to my mind at least, suggests incipient merriment; & jolly, albeit minuscule
Oh, how they do gratify the taste buds, tongue, & teeth; &
(unlike the kind which are
so aggressively Red)
Oh how They please, oh yes how they genuinely please
Not just the body, but also the inquiring mind!
Because, with a Granny Smith-type Apple--just as with any good Idea
& solid & likely to prove valid--
You can tell what you're getting into beforehand, before you buy it!
So, if you're looking for a nice way to change, if not exactly
your life, in a small, modest & conservative, but definitely efficacious way
I'd suggest trying for example (especially if you haven't tried them
Granny Smith's Apples! After all
Even beyond beginning to change your life in small, sensibly
(instead of maybe filling your mouth & perhaps even your entire head, in effect,
With a lot of quasi-rotten tastes & vague unflavors which remind me,
at least, of feelings which smack of bad-apple Bad Ideas)
--Yes even beyond all that, wouldn't you like, too
To help perpetuate the memory of an ingenious, inventive, highly
yet obviously also completely down-to-earth old lady
Who was probably also--I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts!--
A nice, tasteful, forward-looking & also All-Around Good Person?
'Of Granny Smith's Apples'
Is poetry about fruit & in particular, a poem about
being careful about how you select your apples.
It's also a political poem about gradual change--& a poem about effecting personal change, too, gradually & naturally.
It appeared in The Paris Review in l994, © l994 Michael Benedikt. This Webversion, © 2001 Michael Benedikt.
Historical Note re the Apple: The origins of the tart, green Granny Smith Apple are somewhat shrouded in mystery.
Some say it was lst seeded on Australian soil in the 1860's, from French crabapple stock by an Aussie grandmother named
Mrs. Smith (Marie Ana Smith). Others claim that this apple has American origins--perhaps because it's so widely cultivated & popular
in USA. At any rate, American soil too, appears to have contributed to the development of this unusual, International Apple.
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Next Poem at This Site-- "Of Sexual Style"
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