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Poetry in translation (CCLXII), Constantin ROMAN (ENGLAND): “Carciofo alla Giudia – a Roman Recipe”

February 23rd, 2014 · No Comments · Diaspora, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in translation (CCLXII), Constantin ROMAN (ENGLAND): “Carciofo alla Giudia – a Roman Recipe”

Carciofo alla Giudia - a Roman Recipe

Carciofo alla Giudia – a Roman Recipe

Carciofo alla Giudia – a Roman Recipe
(Constantin ROMAN, London)

Once, upon a time, I was an artichoke,
Proudly perched on top of a long stem –
The king of the castle,
Scrutinizing the outskirts of the vegetable patch –
Head above all my kindred,
Beaming with self-esteem,
Dreaming to become a Mediterranean lighthouse,
Seeing off the fishermen’s boats,
On their way to a day’s meagre catch.

Yet, the unrelenting sun
Conspired to bring my demise,
By adding a blush of purple to my head,
Making me look like a punk,
Attracting the attention of all butterflies,
And, not in the least, of the Master…
He ordered at once my head to be chopped off,
Before it turned to seed.

Obligingly, Chef decapitated me, at once,
With his sharp blade,
Cut me to size and belittled me,
By making me share a basket
With some red onions
And a few garlic heads:
Only a sprig of mint took pity at my poor self,
Comforting me with its soothing scent.

But my humiliation was not over, yet,
As worse was to come,
Being dispatched to the Kitchen,
Thrown into a pot of boiling water
And rescued only when I threatened
Turning into a tasteless pulp.

Yet my terror was greater still,
When all my hair was plucked out,
To leave my bare soul covered
Only by a few leaves,
Decorating the bottom of my heart.

I could not believe the state I was in
And cried bitterly, reproaching Chef:
– Once upon a time
I was the King of the Castle:
Now, look what has become of me!

To this, Chef answered, glibly:
– Carciofo alla Giudia!

© Copyright, Constantin ROMAN, London

Carciofo alla Giudia - a Roman Recepe

Carciofo alla Giudia – a Roman Recepe

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