‘Zaftig Figs’

It’s poor form to quote oneself, but a ‘zaftig fig’ is a line out of a poem I wrote that still needs a bit more work.

I am sharing it anyway because I liked the way you could roll it around your mouth. Zaftig is a Yiddish word from the Old German, saft meaning juicy. To describe something as zaftig is to call it round, full; voluptuous in the case of a woman. I used to work for a Jewish family and Yiddish has some words that have a rich resonance. One of my favourites is meshugganah: it means crazy. And then there are the shleps, the schlocks, the schlemiels with the schmooze and the schmaltz and the schmucks with their spiel; not forgetting the chutzpah (which is not a compliment). All gorgeous on the tongue, like these figs.

I was given a bag of purple ones this week and had them last night, seared on a rocket and mozzarella salad with prosciutto, but before all that, I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of them. Words sometimes constrain, an image frees the mind more, I think.

This morning, after the nosh the night before, I only wish I had been given two bags of figs…

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Posted on September 22, 2012, in Biophilia, Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. D.H. Lawrence spoiled figs for me………

    In future I will consider myself zaftig rather than obese.

    • It’s verging on the onomatopoeic isn’t it? I’ve only read ‘Sons and Lovers’ or whatever it’s called and there ain’t no figs in that!

  2. The fig bit is in “Sons and Lovers”!

  3. I rest my case; fig as sexual object, whether in the poem or the novel.

  4. Maybe it was ‘Women in Love’; I grow old, I grow old – I will wear my trouser ends rolled.

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