Thursday, March 19, 2009

Theme Thursday=Ode to the Artichoke by Pablo Neruda

click to see a picture of a artichoke

Ode To The Artichoke
Pablo Neruda

The artichoke
With a tender heart
Dressed up like a warrior,
Standing at attention, it built
A small helmet
Under its scales
It remained
Unshakeable,
By its side
The crazy vegetables
Uncurled
Their tendrills and leaf-crowns,
Throbbing bulbs,
In the sub-soil
The carrot
With its red mustaches
Was sleeping,
The grapevine
Hung out to dry its branches
Through which the wine will rise,
The cabbage
Dedicated itself
To trying on skirts,
The oregano
To perfuming the world,
And the sweet
Artichoke
There in the garden,
Dressed like a warrior,
Burnished
Like a proud
Pomegrante.
And one day
Side by side
In big wicker baskets
Walking through the market
To realize their dream
The artichoke army
In formation.
Never was it so military
Like on parade.
The men
In their white shirts
Among the vegetables
Were
The Marshals
Of the artichokes
Lines in close order
Command voices,
And the bang
Of a falling box.

But
Then
Maria
Comes
With her basket
She chooses
An artichoke,
She's not afraid of it.
She examines it, she observes it
Up against the light like it was an egg,
She buys it,
She mixes it up
In her handbag
With a pair of shoes
With a cabbage head and a
Bottle
Of vinegar
Until
She enters the kitchen
And submerges it in a pot.

Thus ends
In peace
This career
Of the armed vegetable
Which is called an artichoke,
Then
Scale by scale,
We strip off
The delicacy
And eat
The peaceful mush
Of its green heart.


Translated by Jodey Bateman

26 comments:

Megan said...

Ooh, that's two great poems already and it's not even Thursday here yet!

Thanks, D Bear!

Mrsupole said...

I buy them at Costco and we ooh and ahh over them. Once cooked they are so nice to eat. We loved them but they are getting so expensive. Once I had a plant that grew some in my garden back then, but never again. I am not sure why. All that work for about 6 artichokes from the plant. It is easier to just buy them. I do prefer fresh ones over the marinated ones.

That poem makes me want to go to Costco and see if they have any left. Thank you for the poem. I need to print a copy of that to put in a cookbook.

God bless.

Ronda Laveen said...

I love artichokes. To eat them. To collect their flowers when left to long. I am not afraid of their prickly, warrior nature. Wonderful poem.

Baino said...

Gorgeous. Would you believe that this week we've had artichokes in at least three meals. I love them but have never had the courage to cook one 'fresh' I buy them in jars or pre-marinated at the deli. They are indeed a splendiforous veggie!

Ruth said...

Oh! I've never read that poem. How satisfying.

The Clever Pup said...

Absolutely wonderful!

Have you seen Il Postino in which Neruda comes to stay on a small Italian island?

Brian Miller said...

nice ode to warrior artichokes everywhere.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

how perfect that I'm reading this ode to the artichoke right after I read the ode to the onion that willow posted....

how we are all connected today in this veggie world....there's a photo of an artichoke blooming on the mouse today too!

great fun....

ah neruda..... he's so brilliant!

Leah said...

Thank you so much! I'm so excited to see the poetry around our neck of the woods to day! Wonderful. I love Neruda.

VE said...

Nice. The only ode I'd ever done was to the bank...

Wings said...

Wow. Very nice, I really liked that one. Thanks for sharing it.

subtorp77 said...

Well I'll be danged! Never saw an ode for an artichoke. Very interesting choice, DB.

Marianna said...

Thank you so much for this. I love P. Neruda lol

Happy Theme Thursday
peace and love
xoxo

willow said...

"Dressed like a warrior". This was great! Gotta add them to my grocery list.

Candie Bracci said...

Great!Ode to an artichoke?I love that!Great poem thanks for posting it.
:)

reyjr said...

i think i've never eaten an artichoke ever in my whole life. :p

Debo Hobo said...

the peaceful mush of its warm heart is the best part. yumm I am so glad I happened upon them so may years ago and decided to give them a try. I like mine steamed then I dip the leave and heart in melted Parmesan butter. yummo!

I've had them stuffed a time or two not a big fan of them served that way though.

tut-tut said...

I'm going to seek out Neruda; I think I may have a book somewhere around here . . . THanks!

Cuppa Jo said...

Lovely poem. I haven't read this one before. Thank you.

Jaime said...

the warrior artichoke. i like that.

Gran said...

Great poems! And I love your new look. I like artichokes in salads.

California Girl said...

I love artichokes and I love Pablo Neruda. Thank you.

Kris said...

The artichoke with a heart of gold...

R.L. Bourges said...

'she observes it up against the light like an egg'

love that line and I didn't know this poem by Neruda, so thanks for the intro.

Rita said...

Love the marinated artichokes in salads. Great Poem. First for me also.

I do love all of your doors photos. I am a big collector or door photos. Can't help but wonder what secrets they could tell if they could tell secrets.

tony said...

thank you For The Very Fine Pablo Neruda
.Have A Fine Weekend
Regards
Tony.