Ode to the Tomato

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by Amy Flanigan on February 11, 2009 · 4 comments

Pablo Neruda, author of my all-time favorite poem Sonnet 17, also wrote another poem that seems appropriate to post here. This is the English translation. If you prefer the authentic Spanish version, it’s “Oda al Tomate.”

Ode to the Tomato
The street
filled with tomatoes
midday,
summer,
light is
halved
like
a
tomato,
its juice
runs
through the streets.
In December,
unabated,
the tomato
invades
the kitchen,
it enters at lunchtime,
takes
its ease
on countertops,
among glasses,
butter dishes,
blue saltcellars.
It sheds
its own light,
benign majesty.
Unfortunately, we must
assassinate it:
the knife
sinks
into living flesh,
red
viscera,
a cool
sun,
profound,
inexhausible,
populates the salads
of Chile,
happily, it is wed
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate the union
we
pour
oil,
essential
child of the olive,
onto its halved hemispheres,
pepper
adds
its fragrance,
salt, its magnetism;
it is the wedding
of the day,
parsley
hoists
its flag,
potatoes
bubble vigorously,
the aroma
of the roast
knocks
at the door,
it’s time!
come!
and, on
the table, at the midpoint
of summer,
the tomato,
star of earth,
recurrent
and fertile
star,
displays
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and the totality of its freshness.

Suddenly, I find myself dreaming about salsa and Bruschetta…

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike February 12, 2009 at 8:03 am

BTW, Pablo Neruda has written some really wonderful poems… in addition to the tomato one of course.

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Mike February 12, 2009 at 7:56 am

I suddenly find MYSELF dreaming about the clip below (it’s short).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmBCSSXiKXQ

Reply

Scott February 11, 2009 at 11:16 pm

How about a Bloody Mary?

Reply

Nancy February 11, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Who knew a tomato could sound so sexy.

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