Friday, March 25, 2011


A Blessed Thing

Knut Hamsun (1859-1952), Growth of the Soil, Book I, Chapter IV (tr. W.W. Worster):
What was that about potatoes? Were they just a thing from foreign parts, like coffee; a luxury, an extra? Oh, the potato is a lordly fruit; drought or downpour, it grows and grows all the same. It laughs at the weather, and will stand anything; only deal kindly with it, and it yields fifteen-fold again. Not the blood of a grape, but the flesh of a chestnut, to be boiled or roasted, used in every way. A man may lack grain to make bread, but give him potatoes and he will not starve. Roast them in the embers, and there is supper; boil them in water, and there’s a breakfast ready. As for meat, it’s little is needed beside. Potatoes can be served with what you please; a dish of milk, a herring, is enough. The rich eat them with butter; poor folk manage with a tiny pinch of salt. Isak could make a feast of them on Sundays, with a mess of cream from Goldenhorns’ milk. Poor despised potato—a blessed thing!
Vincent van Gogh, Still Life with Earthen Bowl and Potatoes

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?