"We have said nothing about Chirico until we take into account his most personal views about the artichoke, the glove, the cookie, or the spool." Andre Breton.
Chirico is said to have dreamt of artichokes (great, giant artichokes!) in a piazza before painting them 1913. I heard tell of a famous artichoke pizza in New York, but I never tried it. I imagine his views about cookies are much the same as mine and yours.
The globe artichoke (which I like to eat with a fork) is also known as cynara scolymus. It is a beautiful fruit, made to be loved in folds. Here is its love letter.
Ode to the Artichoke by Pablo Neruda
The artichoke With a tender heart Dressed up like a warrior, Standing at attention, it built A small helmet Under its scales It remained Unshakeable, By its side The crazy vegetables Uncurled 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 Artichoke There in the garden, Dressed like a warrior, Burnished Like a proud Pomegrante. 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 Were The Marshals Of the artichokes Lines in close order Command voices, And the bang Of a falling box.
But Then Maria Comes 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 Bottle Of vinegar Until 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, Then Scale by scale, We strip off The delicacy And eat The peaceful mush Of its green heart.
It is sad but true, I have only just discovered Foyles books. Spent a lovely afternoon fingering the spines of these beautiful murder mysteries. Fingering spines is another textual/anatomical insertion; where will these meeting points end? Do books have veins? Do they have hands? Or is it their fate to be forever manhandled with no hope of protest or arrest.