Ode to the Artichoke

This article appears in the Lenten Daily Food Reflections feature series. View the full series.

PAUSE

artichokes-3594246.jpg

(Pixabay/suju)

REFLECT

"Ode to the Artichoke"

by Pablo Neruda

The tender-hearted

upright

artichoke

girded itself as

a warrior, constructed

a small dome,

to keep itself

waterproof

within

its scales.

...

and then one day

it was into the grand

willow basket

with the others and off

to the market

it marched

to fulfill its dream:

the militia!

In columns

never more martial

than at the fair,

men

in their white shirts

among the vegetables

became

field marshals

of the artichokes,

the closed ranks,

the voices of command,

and the sudden detonation

of ... a fumbled cashbox,

but

then

comes

Maria

with her basket,

who fearlessly

picks out

an artichoke,

looking at it, examining it

against the light as if it were an egg,

she buys it,

drops it

into her basket

with a pair of shoes,

a white cabbage and a

bottle

of vinegar as well

then

entering the kitchen

plunges it into the pot.

And so it ends,

in peace,

the career

of the armored vegetable

called 'artichoke,'

and presently

scale by scale

we undress

this delight

we munch

the peaceful paste

of its green heart.

 

The artichoke reminds us of the gospel call to be broken as food for others. How do you feel called to do that today?


PRAY

Write, or compose in your head, a short ode to a type of food that you appreciate. 


Lenten Daily Food Reflections

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Editor's note: These daily reflections on food, faith, climate and our lives will provide spiritual sustenance for the Lenten journey. They are inspired by the Lenten Food Waste Fast at the Ignatian Solidarity Network.