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melagrana2While I was looking for some book cloth in my paper drawers, I discovered that I have an infestation of unfinished melagrane.

Unfinished melagrane in my studio

Unfinished melagrane in my studio

Melagrana (meh•lah•GRA•nah) is a parola piacevole (pa•ROH•la pyah•cheh•VOH•leh), a really likeable word.  It is Italian for pomegranate, the luscious red fruit with tart little seeds full of vitamins and antioxidants.  Melagrane is plural and il melograno is the pomegranate tree. The tree is masculine and the fruit is feminine-this causes a lot of confusion.  Just remember ‘la melagrana e il frutto del melagrano’. This is consistent with other fruits and their trees, for example- pera/ pero, olive/ulivo.

Melagrani (pomegranate trees) and melagrane (pomegranate fruit) on the roof of Hotel Columbia in Roma

Melagrani (pomegranate trees) and melagrane (pomegranate fruit) on the roof of Hotel Columbia in Roma

Granata is another word for melagrana. Granata is also the luscious pomegranate red colour, garnet-as in the stone, and grenade-the not so nice kind that blows up.  A grenade does kind of look it is covered in ‘semi di melagrana’ (pomegranate seeds).  Granatina or grenadine is syrup made with pomegranate juice used to make a Tequila Sunrise.

Melagrana comes from the latin words Malum (mela=apple) and granatum (grainy/full of seeds).   The Spanish city of Granada is named for the fruit-Granada is melagrana in Spanish.  The official symbol of the city is the melagrana and it appears in its coat of arms and all over Granada. The French word for apple is pomme, so pomme granate resulted in the English word pomegranate (apple of Granada).  I love how all of these words are connected!

Melagrane-unfinished drypoint etching monotype with chine colle

Melagrane-unfinished drypoint etching monotype with chine colle

Mannaggia la melagrana!  I’d better find time to finish all of these monotipi (monotypes) and incisione punta secca (drypoint etchings). I might have to have a melagrana sale.

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