Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Visual for a Spanish poem on artichokes

This was a visual made during the TAM workshops. There was a Spanish poem on artichokes. We heard an English translation of it once. and then we had to make our own varied adaptations, translations, transcreations of the poem in whichever manner we wanted to. I decided to take this as an opportunity to experiment with the visual medium, something I've always wanted to do, but never had the courage, really. This is a visual translation of the Spanish poem. ideally, it should have included a gun too, something I conveniently chose to do without. :-)


Sohini Chowdhury said...

How to decipher this without the actual poem??

Shruti Sareen said...

errrm, the poem is Ode to the Artichoke by Pablo Neruda. we were not given the poem. It was just read out to us in Spanish, then in English translation, then we were supposed to adapt from memory. I am putting the english translation here:

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.