The world below the brine;
Forests at the bottom of the sea—the branches and leaves,
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds—
the thick tangle, the openings, and the pink turf,
Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and gold—
the play of light through the water,
Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o’er Nineveh’s prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the [...]
I Share thy green life, blind and mute,
In the soft, moist earth and sun-warmed air.
I feel the rain about the root,
The deadly fungi on thy leaves
As on my heart.
We are mutual friends and our fate is one,
Never to flower and come to seed,
Used for ends that are not our own.
The flower of the pasture, Blossoming protein.
Grazed by the lowing cattle,
Cut by the mowing blades,
I grow again and blossom
After the ruthless raids.
The grazing and the mowing
But bring me on my way;
I sprout and spring perennial
After a crop of hay.
The bee, too, is my partner,
Looks after all my [...]
The child who threw away leaf after leaf
of the many-coated onion, to get to
the sweet heart, found in the end that
he had thrown away the heart itself.
From “Scented Leaves from a Chinese Jar” By Allen Upward
Allen Upward (1863–1926) was a poet, lawyer, politician and teacher. His work was included in the first [...]
If Leeks you like
But do their smell dis-leeke
And you shall not smell the Leeke.
If you of Onyuns
Would the scent expelle
And That shall drowne
The Onyun’s smelle.
Onions are like an April Day–
Good for the sad, good for the gay.
Excellent food and drug are they,
And oft we’ve used them either way.
The winter night now well nigh worn away,
The wakeful cock proclaim’d approaching day,
When Simulus, poor tenant of a farm
Of narrowest limits, heard the shrill alarm,
Yawn’d, stretch’d his limbs, and anxious to provide
Against the pangs of hunger unsupplied,
By slow degrees his tatter’d bed forsook,
And poking in the dark explored [...]
WHEN man’s unworthiness provoked God’s ire
To curse the goodly soil, thou didst arise,
In native ugliness with weed and brier:
Or if thou hadst a place in paradise,
Thou wast accurst above each plant and tree,—
The serpent of thy kind; and man was cursed in thee.
There was a time, we read, when unclean sprites
Behind a market stall, installed,
I mark it every day,
Stands at her stand the fairest girl
I’ve met with at the Bay;
Her two lips are of cherry red,
Her hands a pretty pair,
With such a pretty turn up nose,
And lovelv reddish hair.
And there she stands from morn till night,
Her customers to please, [...]
Lift your flowers
on bitter stems
Lift them up
out of the scorched ground!
Bear no foliage
but give yourself
wholly to that!
Strain under them
you bitter stems
that no beast eats—
and scorn greyness!
Into the heat with them:
The earth cracks and
is shriveled up;
the wind moans piteously;
the sky goes out
if you should fail.
I saw a child with daisies
for weaving into the hair [...]
A sweet, acidulous, down-reaching thrill
Pervades my sense: I seem to see or hear
The lushy garden-grounds of Greenwich Hill
In autumn, when the crispy leaves are sere:
And odours haunt me of remotest spice
From the Levant or musky-aired Cathay,
Or from the saffron-fields of Jericho,
Where everything is nice:
The more I sniff, the more [...]
Of tarts there be a thousand kinds,
So versatile the art,
And, as we all have different minds,
Each has his favorite tart;
But those which most delight the rest
Methinks should suit me not:
The onion tart doth please me best,—
Ach, Gott! mein lieber Gott!
Where but in Deutschland can be found
This boon of which [...]
I wonder if the cabbage knows
He is less lovely than the Rose;
Or does he squat in smug content,
A source of noble nourishment;
Or if he pities for her sins
The Rose who has no vitamins;
Or if the one thing his green heart knows
That self-same fire that warms the Rose?
“To make this condiment, your poet begs
The pounded yellow of two hard-boiled eggs;
Two boiled potatoes, passed through kitchen sieve,
Smoothness and softness to the salad give.
Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl,
And, half-suspected, animate the whole.
Of mordant mustard add a single spoon,
Distrust the condiment that bites so soon;
But deem it not, thou man of herbs, a [...]
Underneath their eider-robe
Russet swede and golden globe,
Feathered carrot, burrowing deep,
Steadfast wait in charmed sleep;
Treasure-houses wherein lie,
Locked by angels’ alchemy,
Milk and hair, and blood, and bone,
Children of the barren stone;
Children of the flaming Air,
With his blue eye keen and bare,
Spirit-peopled smiling down
On frozen field and boiling [...]
I always eat peas with honey,
I’ve done it all my life,
They do taste kind of funny,
But it keeps them on the knife.
Come, follow me by the smell,
Here are delicate onions to sell;
I promise to use you well.
They make the blood warmer,
You’ll feed like a farmer;
For this is every cook’s opinion,
No savoury dish without an onion;
But, lest your kissing should be spoil’d,
Your onions must be thoroughly boil’d:
Or else you may spare