Ode to the Tomato

one of the tomato plants on our deck

one of the tomato plants on our deck

As I am enjoying the bright red, delicious tomatoes we’re growing on our deck, I think of Pablo Neruda’s wonderful Ode to the Tomato. Enjoy.–April Moore

ODE TO THE TOMATO
—-Pablo Neruda

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.


3 Responses to “Ode to the Tomato”

  1. Todd Says:

    Hi April, I love Neruda but had not met this one. Thanks!
    And I love tomatoes, the only thing I really miss in apartment living
    in MD, and in living here in NS where the nights are so cool. I do have
    some tomato plants going, but still only 2-inch greenies. Will redden
    up by the time we leave here to come back! Ha! Will bring green
    ones back home across the border! Best, Todd

  2. Monika Kienzle Says:

    Oh, April, how luscious – my mouth is watering for tonight’s salad. But my garden grown tomato calls for a crown of fresh basil to totally satisfy the senses.
    Those tomatoes must be growing on your deck, right? My basil plant was bought at the Orleans farmers market, along with some beets, a kohlrabi and some walla walla onions.
    -Monika

  3. Judy Muller Says:

    This is utterly delicious. So original, playful, delights all my senses, just a fabulous poem. Thank you so much for sharing, April.

Leave a Reply

Home | About | Blog | Contact | Newsletter

Earth Connection is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).