Peter Svensk

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2007 at 5:51 am

Via Cookin’ in the ‘Cuse

Ode to a Tomato by Pablo Neruda
Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden

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,
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 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.

It simply doesn’t get any better then when my favorite poet and my favorite foods come together. The tomato crop has been especially abundant this year–more red cherry and sungolds than I can pick and now the first of the plum tomatoes. They have adorned salads, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, and have served as dessert, picked straight off the vine. Soon my mind will turn to slow roasted plum tomatoes and canning some for sauce for the winter. How are you enjoying this “star of the earth”?

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