Ode To The Onion by Pablo Neruda

Thank you, dear reader, who sent in this excellent onion poem yesterday by Pablo Neruda. I seem to be collecting them now. I have Neruda, Elder, Matthews, my own little humble effort.  Anybody else got an onion poem out there? Perhaps I ought to put together an anthology. I could call it, If We All Eat Onions, No One Needs a Toothbrush.

Oh, by the way. Happy Ground Hog’s Day (the sun is shining, darn it. Doesn’t that mean he sees his shadow, gets scared, and runs away so we have more winter?) And, Happy Super Bowl watching, if that is your fancy. Enjoy the onion dip, but don’t overdo it. Too much sour cream is not that good for you. Here is Neruda’s poem:

Ode to the Onion

luminous flask,
your beauty formed
petal by petal,
crystal scales expanded you
and in the secrecy of the dark earth
your belly grew round with dew.
Under the earth
the miracle
and when your clumsy
green stem appeared,
and your leaves were born
like swords
in the garden,
the earth heaped up her power
showing your naked transparency,
and as the remote sea
in lifting the breasts of Aphrodite
duplicating the magnolia,
so did the earth
make you,
clear as a planet
and destined
to shine,
constant constellation,
round rose of water,
the table
of the poor.

You make us cry without hurting us.
I have praised everything that exists,
but to me, onion, you are
more beautiful than a bird
of dazzling feathers,
heavenly globe, platinum goblet,
unmoving dance
of the snowy anemone

and the fragrance of the earth lives
in your crystalline nature.

Pablo Neruda

Photo: Courtesy of John Baird
Photo: Courtesy of John Baird

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