Ode to a sprig of parsley, and other things

IMG_5706 (1)Introducing… odes! Odes are a fun kind of poem written in praise of something.

Well-loved Chilean poet Pablo Neruda wrote a lot of odes, including this, his Ode to the Onion (or Oda a la Cebolla). Here’s the English version. And for the folks who prefer to read in Spanish, here’s the Spanish original.

He writes to praise the onion (which is a pretty magical thing if you think about it). I love the line where he says “You make us cry without hurting us” because wow, sometimes I really want to chop onions because I need to cry about something but can’t otherwise.

Write an ode to your favorite vegetable. If you aren’t quite up on the ode-mode, try a love letter. But keep it specific. That’s what makes these poems tick. Readers won’t know what you mean when you say an onion is beautiful, but if you describe it as a “luminous flask” with “crystal scales” then everybody sees onions in a new way, and poetry magic happens.

Happy writing,


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