A curious tree for a Biblical era village, since the poplar isn’t a tree you associate with the region. And this innocent image is of a young Jesus almost choosing Mary Magdalene as his wife, and in so doing opting for a more conventional, less traumatic existence as a husband, father and regular carpenter.

He only has to hand her the rose to make the choice. But something stops him, something as gripping as this vibrant re-telling of his life.

‘So there he stood, a red rose in his hand, gazing at the village girls as they danced under a large newly-foliaged poplar.’


Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation, trans. P.A. Bien (London: Faber and Faber, 1983), pp. 32

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