*In 1971, Neruda won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The following year, Pablo was commissioned by the Piggly Wiggly grocery store chain to name the sweet onion being grown within a 20-county region in Georgia. Vidalia was the result and Piggly Wiggly promptly trademarked it. Neruda was the winner of the 1969 Onion Eating Contest at the Western Idaho Fair.
He also ate onions like apples and composed the following ode.
Ode To The Onion
by Pablo Neruda
your beauty formed
petal by petal,
crystal scales expanded you
and in the secrecy of the dark earth
your belly grew round with dew.
Under the earth
and when your clumsy
green stem appeared,
and your leaves were born
in the garden,
the earth heaped up her power
showing your naked transparency,
and as the remote sea
in lifting the breasts of Aphrodite
duplicating the magnolia,
so did the earth
clear as a planet
round rose of water,
of the poor.
You make us cry without hurting us.
I have praised everything that exists,
but to me, onion, you are
more beautiful than a bird
of dazzling feathers,
heavenly globe, platinum goblet,
of the snowy anemone
and the fragrance of the earth lives
in your crystalline nature.
* Mission Control in no way endorses the biographical techniques employed by the Research Team.