Thursday, September 11, 2008

Conger Chowder!!

Dear Everybody:

Today we continue our discovery of Pablo Neruda with a poem from the same series as yesterday’s tomato poem:

Ode To Conger Chowder
by Pablo Neruda

In the storm-tossed



lives the rosy conger,

giant eel

of snowy flesh.

And in Chilean

along the coast,

was born the chowder,

thick and succulent,

a boon to man.

[The rest of the poem has been removed because it’s almost certainly still in copyright. But I doubt you’ll have any trouble finding it on the Web.]

The above poem is, you will note, perilously close to being a recipe. Yes, of course. What recipes and poems have in common is that they are both the reduction of a complicated thing to the least number of words. Anything more and it would be wordy and flabby. Anything less and it wouldn’t work.

All best,


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