Urban Physic Garden


Curly Parsley

July 7th, 2011 · No Comments · Medicinal Plants Poetry Project

A little parsley

To cancel the memory of garlic on your breath,
this herb, sprung of a hero’s death, tastes of nothing,
or as nothing as anything can taste – as we might say

water (which is the bearer and bearer away
of other tastes) has no taste, but is there to remove,
replace. Romans say, or for them we say,

he has need now of nothing but a little parsley as if
they were the same thing: parsley/nothing,
or nothing more than that little we imagine instead.

                    Parsley (which women knew to use to cancel
more than just bad breath) is not my favourite herb,
but any flavour, any scent or taste’s better than none –

and that classic curl recalls the urge to decorate,
not to make complete, but to always to finish with
a flourish – there, well it’s not much – but
                                                                                          it’s something.
Emily Hasler
(From Herbarium, a new poetry anthology. Launch and reading 22 July)

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