Tuesday Poem – Ode to the Tomato by Pablo Neruda

The roadway
is full of tomatoes,
midday,
summer,
the light
splits itself
in two
halves
of tomato,
runs
down the roads
as juice.
In December
it goes wild
the tomato,
invades
kitchens,
infiltrates lunches,
settles itself
quietly
on sideboards,
among glasses,
butter-dishes,
blue salt-shakers.
It has
its own
light,
gentle authority.
Sadly we have to
murder it:
sinking,
the knife
in its living pulp,
it is a red
heart,
a fresh
sun,
deep,
inexhaustible,
filling the salads
of Chile,
is happily wedded
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate
oil
lets itself
pour,
essential
child of the olive,
over its half-open hemispheres,
the peppers
add
their fragrance,
salt its magnetism:
its a stylish
wedding,
parsley
lifts
little flags,
the potatoes
boil with vigour,
the roast
knocks
on the door
with its aroma,
it’s time!
come on!
and on to
the table, in the middle
of summer,
the tomato,
earth-star,
star
repeated
and fecund,
shows us
its convolutions,
its channels,
the famous fullness
and plenty
delivers up
without stone
without rind
without scales or spines
the gift
of its fiery colour
and the whole of its freshness.
A. S. Kline translator 2001
I chose this wonderful poem because I love tomatoes and because although they are a summer fruit I love them cooked in winter. And, because it is winter and a time for hearty meals and hot rich foods.  Do read it carefully, preferably out loud and note the various line breaks commas etc. I think the poet wrote it this way so he and we could savour the abundance of this fruit.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It is winter in NZ and we are getting some beautiful crisp clear days…the sort that make one very hungry if one is out and about. Last week one of my daughters and I plus her daughter, indulged in hot pizza eaten in the winter sunshine out doors and dripping with cheese on a tomato base.The tomato is such a generous fruit the way it gives itself to so many¬† uses and adds such colour and flavour to a huge variety of dishes…well deserving of an ode from Pablo Neruda!
Pablo Neruda himself, also led a life of great variety and added huge flavour to many people’s lives.
Born in Parral, Chile, on July 12, 1904, poet Pablo Neruda stirred controversy with his affiliation with the Communist Party and his outspoken support of Joseph Stalin, Fulgencio Batista and Fidel Castro. His poetic mastery was never in doubt, and for it he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 ,,,,read more
And if you want more poems for Tuesday Wednesday Thursday and the rest of the week please visit the Tuesday Poem blog here.