Ode to an Artichoke Questions and Answers
by Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto

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What is the tone of "Ode to an Artichoke"?

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The tone of "Ode to an Artichoke," by Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto is light hearted with a deeper meaning. As you read the poem it describes the artichoke and compares it to the other “crazy vegetables” in the garden. The artichoke is described as a warrior with a soft heart as it stands with its "helmet" on.

Dressed up like a warrior,

Standing at attention, it built A small helmet

Under its scales

It remained


But then the artichoke is harvested and taken to market where a woman buys it and places it in her crowded purse. When she arrives home she cooks the artichoke, peels it and exposes its soft heart. The light hearted poem is a metaphor for exposing a kind heart under the layers of a difficult or strong personality once it is nurtured and cared for in the proper way.

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