Sergio RAIMONDI (Argentina) is the author of Poesía civil, which is considered the apex of Argentinian objectivist poetry in the end of the 20th century and has exerted significant influence on the poetry writing in the 21st century in Argentina. His book of poems Para un diccionario crítico de la lengua received the Guggenheim Fellowship and also DAAD Fellowship. In 2002, Raimondi became a professor of contemporary literature at the National University of the South in Argentina. From 2011 to 2014, he served as the Secretary of Culture in Bahía Blanca.
Today Matsuo Basho Cooks
The Master said ‘pepper plus wings equal dragonfly’
not the reverse, it’s not about plucking its wings
to leave in mid-air an aromatic grain
that on its own would fall. No, the trick is
to give flight to the fruit so it rises from the table!
But at times something spicy is needed to give
taste to the sauce that’s boiling on the hob
and there’s nothing but that dragonfly or conceit
flying around and even bothering a little bit.
The master, now with his apron, should give up
the elegance of the anecdote to keep in mind
as much his own appetite as that of those dining;
poetic judgment may condemn—or not—the act,
but the stomach will appreciate it in the dinner.
And it’s no surprise that, if the cooking is right,
digestion takes place among plates, pans and steam
with a pleasant sense of grace and lightness.
(Translated by Ben Bollig)