"The violets are children with bare feet"
Translation by Allen Prowle
Original poem by Rocco Scotellaro
The leaves are fresh on the almond trees,
spring water rains from stone walls;
trotting lightly, the donkeys choose
the friendlier of the river’s banks;
the girls with the darkest eyes
clamber on the squeaking cart, aloof.
March is a baby, laughing already, in its swaddling clothes.
And you can forget the winter,
who, bent by bundles of wood,
have told your beads,
mile after freezing mile,
to roast your face by the fire.
Now ticks come back to the horses,
in the stables flies stir the air,
and children with bare feet
charge upon clumps of violet.
If you have a mind to grow these, try planting them in a portion of your lawn that's shaded from hot afternoon sun. They tend to take over, albeit slowly. Harvest the flowers in spring (March - June) for homemade Violet Syrup, to toss into fresh salads, or to candy for an old-fashioned treat.
To make Violet Syrup, pour 1/2 C. boiling water over 3 cups of flowers (no stems) and cover. Let cool and steep together for 24 hours. On the second day, add 2 - 3 C. sugar (to taste) to the violet water and bring to a gentle boil, stirring 'til the sugar is dissolved. Strain the flowers. Your Violet Syrup is ready for use! Store in a cool, dark area or in the fridge for up to 6 months. Little re-corking bottles make sweet gifts.
|Photo by French Tart|