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Ode to the Tomato

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Ode to the Tomato Powered By Docstoc
					                                      Ode to the Tomato1
                                    The street
                                    drowns in tomatoes:
                                    noon,
                                    summer,
                                    light
                                    breaks
                                    in two
                                    tomato
                                    halves,
                                    and the streets
                                    run
                                    with juice.
                                    In December2
                                    the tomato
                                    cuts loose,
                                    invades
                                    kitchens,
                                    takes over lunches,
                                    settles
                                    at rest
                                    on sideboards,
                                    with the glasses,
                                    butter dishes,
                                    blue salt-cellars.
                                    It has
                                    its own radiance,
                                    a goodly majesty.
                                    Too bad we must
                                    assassinate:
                                    a knife
                                    plunges
                                    into its living pulp,
                                    red
                                    viscera,
                                    a fresh,
                                    deep,
                                    inexhaustible
                                    sun
                                    floods the salads
                                    of Chile,
                                    beds cheerfully
                                    with the blonde onion,
                                    and to celebrate
                                    oil
                                    the filial essence
                                    of the olive tree
                                    lets itself fall
                                    over its gaping hemispheres,
                                    the pimento

1
    Translated by Nathaniel Tarn.
2
    Summer in Chile.
adds
its fragrance,
salt its magnetism--
we have the day's
wedding:
parsley
flaunts
its little flags,
potatoes
thump to a boil,
the roasts
beat down the door
with their aromas:
it's time!
let's go!
and upon
the table,
belted by summer,
tomatoes,
stars of the earth,
stars multiplied
and fertile
show off
their convolutions
canals
and plenitudes
and the abundance
boneless,
without husk,
or scale or thorn,
grant us
the festival
of ardent color
and all-embracing freshness.

            —Pablo Neruda

            trans: Stephen Mitchell

				
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posted:3/18/2013
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