she who ponders fondly, eats cream buns

20 06 2010

Some days I know exactly what I want.

I just love that kind of certainty and feel a responsibility to follow through with my every last desire. I know it makes me sound like a hedonist but I prefer to believe I am acting on my authentic instincts.

Today, I was feeling like a delicate wee flower so I gave myself permission to lay around drinking tea and eating cream buns and reveling in my passion for poetry.  As I perused my old favourites, I began to think about the combination of fine poetry and food. What a powerful marriage!

Here are some beauties…

William Carlos Williams, one of the early imagist poets, presents his message with elegant yet simple and concise language. He paints a superbly clean visual picture.

This Is Just to Say


I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably

saving

for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

by William Carlos Williams


The incredible Chilean poet,  Pablo Neruda’s collection of work – Elemental Odes,  contains beautiful poems celebrating commonplace items:  Ode to Wine, Ode to Salt, Ode to a Lemon, Ode to an Artichoke and others. Here is one of his elegant and brilliantly evocative pieces.

Ode to Tomatoes


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

murder it:

the knife

sinks

into living flesh,

red

viscera,

a cool

sun,

profound,

inexhaustible,

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 on!

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 cool completeness.

by Pablo Neruda

And of course, D. H Lawrence whose ability to glory in the language of food – fruit in particular – stimulates much existential pondering.

Figs


The proper way to eat a fig, in society,

Is to split it in four, holding it by the stump,

And open it, so that it is a glittering, rosy, moist, honied, heavy-petalled four-petalled flower.

Then you throw away the skin

Which is just like a four-sepalled calyx,

After you have taken off the blossom with your lips.

But the vulgar way

Is just to put your mouth to the crack, and take out the flesh in one bite.

Every fruit has its secret.

The fig is a very secretive fruit.

As you see it standing growing, you feel at once it is symbolic:

And it seems male.

But when you come to know it better, you agree with the Romans, it is female.

Excerpt from Figs by D.H Lawrence

What a delightful way to spend an afternoon.  I highly recommend a decadent day, once in a while, where many of your greatest joys are within reach and all that is required of you is to appreciate the details.

By the way: All the spicy possibilities of my  Dandylion Extravaganza are gently simmering in my mind and I have every good reason to expect a cohesive vision to appear on the morrow  – or  henceforth or nigh.  (The lofty language is a consequence of my afternoon reading 20th century poetry.  This too shall pass).


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4 responses

24 06 2010
non, je ne regrette rien

mmmm…made my mouth water. And who can resist Pablo?

8 07 2010
tellingdtales

Oh, I know! And how about “Ode To an Artichoke”? His poem/stories take my breath away…

7 07 2010
sitatmytable

I am LOVING your blog! So glad to get connected. Your writing is absolutely delicious– to my soul, to my tongue, even my fingers are tingling! That’s some tasty magic you’re brewing up over there.

8 07 2010
tellingdtales

You are very kind, thank you. I am dabbling… with intent 🙂

I have been admiring the clarity and discipline that shapes your lyrical vignettes. I’ve read them all…

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