Ode to an Onion: Getting to the Root

Photo Credit to Muffet on Flickr

A few weeks ago I discovered a lovely dusty old bookstore blocks from my house called, Cliff’s Books. I spent hours perusing and found a first edition and also the first book ever written by my favorite writer, Erica Jong, called Fruits & Vegetables. This book of poetry has turned in to my bedside companion and here is a piece about the beautiful onion that I wanted to share with you all. Of course, there are a ton of food bloggers that will share food porn with you. Unfortunately us, UG Girls, aren’t that gifted in photography or expensive cameras so we can only offer you words of a great poet at this time. We hope you enjoy!

I am thinking of the onion again, with its two O mouths,
like the gaping holes in nobody. Of the outer skin, pinkish
brown, peeled to reveal a greenish sphere, bald as a dead
planet, glib as glass, & an odor almost animal. I consider
its ability to draw tears, its capacity for self-scrutiny,
flaying itself away, layer on layer, in search of its heart
which is simply another region of skin, but deeper &
greener. I remember Peer Gynt; I consider its sometimes
double heart. Then I think of despair when the onion
searches its soul & finds only its various skins; & I think
of the dried tuft of roots leading nowhere & the parched
umbilicus, lopped off in the garden. Not self-righteous
like the proletarian potato, nor a siren like the apple. No
show-off like the banana. But a modest, self-effacing
vegetable, questioning, introspective, peeling itself away,
or merely radiating halos like lake ripples. I consider it
the eternal outsider, the middle child, the sad analysand
of the vegetable kingdom. Glorified only in France (other-
wise silent sustainer of soups & stews), unloved for itself
alone-no wonder it draws our tears! Then I think again
how the outer peel resembles paper, how soul & skin
merge into one, how each peeling strips bare a heart
which in turn turns skin…

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve been getting a lot of comments on food photography blog today. I might do a follow-up post in a couple of months but so far my pictures have improved just by simply cropping so I get in closer on the food. I’m still riding the fence on the flash vs no flash in food photography but I’m determined to make my “cheap” point and shoot camera work without upgrading to photoshop or fancy camera (and tripod!).


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