The Friday Poem on 01/07/22
We chose ‘Jamón Ibérico’ by Regina Weinert to be this week’s Friday Poem because the language is so sensual and luscious. The tone of the poem is celebratory and joyful — the round-the-year picture of traditional Spanish pigs at pasture gladdens the heart. But that’s not the whole story — these pigs are destined for platos de jamón. What do the pigs know? To appreciate nature and the simpler things in life and — perhaps — to seize the day. That’s a message we can all get behind.
April in the Sierra Morena is mild. A hint of heat.
Knobbly-kneed holm oaks, widely spaced,
cast shade over drifts of green and yellow.
The pigs must be ecstatic. They grunt and chuckle.
Grass blades stroke their winged ears. On dainty legs
they dance up a slope. Thyme brings out their wild side.
There’s more to come in the mast months
when acorn rain tickles their smooth dark hides.
All through the winter, soft pink fat that will melt
on the tongue is spun like silk through deep red meat.
Those who gain the prized marbling are chosen
to adorn the cathedral of ham. But I don’t enter.
I take in the pastures. These classy beasts on the brink
know something I’ve yet to grasp.