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Ode To The Artichoke Analysis

Author: poem of Pablo Neruda Type: poem Views: 4

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The artichoke

With a tender heart

Dressed up like a warrior,

Standing at attention, it built

A small helmet

Under its scales

It remained


By its side

The crazy vegetables


Their tendrills and leaf-crowns,

Throbbing bulbs,

In the sub-soil

The carrot

With its red mustaches

Was sleeping,

The grapevine

Hung out to dry its branches

Through which the wine will rise,

The cabbage

Dedicated itself

To trying on skirts,

The oregano

To perfuming the world,

And the sweet


There in the garden,

Dressed like a warrior,


Like a proud


And one day

Side by side

In big wicker baskets

Walking through the market

To realize their dream

The artichoke army

In formation.

Never was it so military

Like on parade.

The men

In their white shirts

Among the vegetables


The Marshals

Of the artichokes

Lines in close order

Command voices,

And the bang

Of a falling box.





With her basket

She chooses

An artichoke,

She's not afraid of it.

She examines it, she observes it

Up against the light like it was an egg,

She buys it,

She mixes it up

In her handbag

With a pair of shoes

With a cabbage head and a


Of vinegar


She enters the kitchen

And submerges it in a pot.

Thus ends

In peace

This career

Of the armed vegetable

Which is called an artichoke,


Scale by scale,

We strip off

The delicacy

And eat

The peaceful mush

Of its green heart.

Translated by Jodey Bateman

Submitted by MusicOfSilence


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

the artichoke is undettered by the other plants and it holds steadfast. this represents Neruda as he holds steadfast amongst the criticism he receives as a communistic poet in Cuba. the artichoke protects the fruit of the country that have been ravaged by the Westerners.

| Posted on 2015-04-05 | by a guest

.: :.

A poem multiple meanings. There is no one right answer. By applying an idea, you can get multiple meanings. For example, by applying the context of Neruda's life we can get the meanings as a poem reflecting the ideas and situation of Communist Cuba's relations with the US at the time. On the other hand, if we narrow the poem down to metaphors, we can see a cycle possibly representing life.

| Posted on 2014-03-27 | by a guest

.: :.

You are all way off. First you need to understand Neruda and the time in which he lived. Then read some of his other works. You will see, mostly as he calls for the earth and protection against the United States and calls for the blood of Roosevelt in many of his poems. He was a communist and his country and ideals were under attack. A lot of his work is dedicated from an outside perspective than ours as Americans. Not a fan of us. It is very deep and portrays the idea of a falling idea, nation and peoples. Everything drying up, dying, not having a chance. But the people will survive, they will endure the plague of the outsiders, sadly many will die, but in the end the idea that even as a small defenseless people, in this case a vegetable, it kept to its traditions and defense of its hopes, regardless if it had a chance or not.

| Posted on 2013-10-17 | by a guest

.: :.

That is cool that people can take the credit loans and it opens up new possibilities.

| Posted on 2013-01-19 | by a guest

.: :.

you are all wrong !this poem is about an artichoke growing as in the outside becomes hard like a soldiers armor.gettin harvested and picked by maria.then being \"drowned in water\" as in being cooked.its just a life cycle summary in really fancy words.

| Posted on 2012-11-14 | by a guest

.: :.

I think it\'s about a soldier in war that gave up their life protecting his/her country.

| Posted on 2011-10-24 | by a guest

.: :.

an artichoke may seem tough and dark on the outside, but they are actually soft and enjoyable on the inside. this is metaphorically like some people. :)

| Posted on 2011-03-14 | by a guest

.: :.

I think this poem talks about life, how life can change unexpectedly. From my point of view, this poem shows us that life will not always be the way we want it to be.

| Posted on 2010-11-08 | by a guest

.: :.

i think its about hw aliens are going to take over the world, and steal our artichokes. look up blue waffle on google.

| Posted on 2010-04-14 | by a guest

.: :.

this talks about how the artichoke has a hard outer covering like a warrior. the hard petals are the armor, the way its set up in the stands like an army on the field is in formation, you know?

| Posted on 2010-03-29 | by a guest

.: Prejudice?! :.

I think it tells how people shouldn't judge others by their looks. Who knows? They may be kind and caring.

| Posted on 2008-04-03 | by a guest

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