“My greatest strength is common sense. I’m really a standard brand — like Campbell’s Tomato Soup or Baker’s Chocolate.” ~ Katherine Hepburn
For my first Poetry Friday post of 2013, the best first course I can think of is a warm, comforting bowl of tomato soup. It’s pretty iconic as soups go — simple and undemanding, it hits the spot on snowy wintry days, has the power to transport us to childhood lunchrooms, and loves to tango with a good grilled cheese sandwich. It became our official soup because of its deep color and accommodating thickness, providing the perfect cushy bed for alphabet pasta.
Back in 2007 when I first polled fellow writers about their favorite soup, tomato was the clear winner. Nothing like a mom-approved bowl of certainty to ward off loneliness and self doubt. A very good reason to put on your favorite bib today and enjoy Mark Irwin’s savory, minimally seasoned poem. Thank goodness for something basic we can count on!
by Mark Irwin
The simplicity of unadorned taste:
tomatoes, flour, salt. Unceremonious
and so unlike an English stew.
No hidden bones, chunks of meat.
No skeletons in our closet,
Can of soup, can of water.
You eat it after doing simple things:
skating, skiing, or just taking a walk
down a street of look-alike homes.
No iron kettle to hide ingredients.
A stainless steel pot on an electric range
works best. Do not add salt or pepper.
The simplicity of unadorned taste.
We love it the way the Italians
love tomato sauce with basil:
as a stronghold of culture,
a stubborn remembrance of revolution,
of green vines tied to stakes
and the pendulous warm red fruit.
~ from Quick, Now, Always (BOA Editions, 1996), first appeared in Atlantic Monthly
Tasty, no? Okay, you’re all set. Sally forth and have the best year ever — and Happy National Soup Month!
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The inimitable, infinitely talented, Yeats-loving Renée LaTulippe is hosting today’s Roundup at No Water River. She is probably, at this very moment, lapping up some of the aforementioned tomato sauce with basil in her cozy Italian hideaway. I’m dreaming of an Italian Grilled Cheese-n-Tomato Sandwich to go with my tomato soup: bring on the olive oil, garlic, and smoked mozzarella! Enjoy all the poems, have a delicious weekend, and Buon Appetito!
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♥ Don’t forget to take my Soup Month Poll in the sidebar! Do you have a favorite tomato soup memory?
♥ Famous Tomato Soup lovers: Mariah Carey, British golfer Nick Faldo, Steve Forbes, actress Melissa Joan Hart, British newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook.
Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.