Saturday, 13 February 2010

I Give You An Onion


Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion,
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

Carol Ann Duffy
Poet Laureate


  1. Why it is like a moon promising light ... light that lingers ...!!!

    Now who else on the entire blogosphere is offering an onion to woo his/her following? I love your sweet, creative, contrarian, non-conformist ways, dear Friko. I always know, coming here, that I will leave with a giggle and a smile.

    I give you an onion, too ...

  2. Weeping onion tears in rapture over image and verse.

  3. I have fallen in love with an English TV series Foyle's War with Michael Kitchen. Takes place during WWII.Episodes are very correct in historical plots in the story. In one episode there were lottery tickets being sold and the prize was a big onion. I love onions, but I was surprised at the value an onion had at that time. I guess most every thing was in short supply back then, in the USA too.

  4. friko - what a find! there are so many openings into life through that poem. thankyou. steven

  5. Wonderful poem! And how could one cook without onions? Red roses and satin hearts are all very well but what a kitchen (and a life) needs is an onion!

  6. I love onions. Always have. I really like the sweet onions best. Sometimes they are hard to find. The poem is very well done too.

  7. Bonnie - that is very kind of you, I am glad to have made you smile.

    English Rider - read while keeping under running water.

    QMM - yes, I saw that episode too. I also enjoyed that series. How do you like the young girl, Honeysuckle Weekes, such a pretty name.

    steven - thanks, steven, I'm glad you think so.

    Vicki Lane - stews or casseroles without onions? unthinkable.

    Abe Lincoln - a vegetable almost universally liked.

  8. A true delight indeed, at nearly a quarter to four at night, to read.
    With today being the beginning of a new lunar year in China, this fits as well very good.
    Please have a wonderful Sunday you all.

  9. How original! I'm with Bonnie as to my pleasure at your non-conformist ways, Friko. I think I shall never dismiss an onion as mere seasoning again.

  10. And as Shrek would say an onion has many layers ... as of course does love

  11. Her at Home and Shrek have pointed out the main thing to be learned from an onion - many layers to peel before you reach the heart!

  12. What a great poem - my respect for Ms Duffy is increasing by the day. Thanks for putting that up!

  13. What a great poem. I confess that prior to her being name the poet laureate I had hardly read any Carol Ann Duffy. But her poetry has been growing on me over the last few months. I can see why. Many thanks. A happy Valentine's Day for you, too.

    Greetings from London.

  14. I first saw this Duffy poem pinned up on the kitchen wall at the Arvon Centre at Lumb Bank. I was on my first writing course there. I love it.

  15. Love it! Give me an onion any day over a chocolate. Nothing against chocolate, but it's pleasure is transitory. An onion, now, that's a treat that keeps on treating!

  16. robert - wann schlaefst du eigentlich?

    Deborah - mere seasoning? harumph; no casserole would be complete without it!

    her at home - the more layers there are the nicer the undressing part is.

    jinksy - does an onion have a heart, or is it all layers?

    Argent - yes, mine too; even the very proper ladies at the poetry group are beginning to read her with pleasure.

    A Cuban in London - being chosen has obviously done great things for her.

    Fran Hill - Are you planning any other courses? There's one in a lovely place where I live!

    Pondside - you got that right, Pondside, it even treats other people!

  17. I'll never look at an onion again in the same way! I do remember learning to use many onions, at least four large ones cooked till they disappeared in beef strogonoff before putting in the beef. (back in a former life when I cooked). At the moment I'm trying to find out if downloading everybody's blog with all the pictures is what's causing us to exceed out "fair access policy" explained in my latest blog post.

  18. I love your picture of the basket of onions as much as I love that poem by Carol Ann Duffy - it does -it says everything.

  19. Friko, the line: 'trying to be truthful'-that's how I see you, not cutsie, not a people pleaser but just a refreshingly- say it how it is kinda gal.

  20. karin - have you stopped eating or just cooking?
    good luck with your computer.

    mollygolver - thank you, glad you like it.

    maggie - hmm, is my directness getting through even in blogposts? Tut!

  21. We have onions here in Georgia which will not make you cry. They come from a little town called Vidalia. I use them in salads often, they are crunchy and sweet. They are harvested between April and until late June but you can keep them until the Fall. A Georgia farmer, named Mose Coleman found out in 1931 that the onions he planted in his Vidalia farms were not hot, but sweet. Then this onion became popular in the 40s and is even more popular now, at least in Georgia. I don’t use it in my French onion soup though because it is too sweet – have to use the old onions that make me cry for that – and for my onion soup … I cry a lot.


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