The Hungry Philosopher

Reads, Writes, Eats and Cooks

The East Berliner, 1989 – Food Poem by Ginger Murchison

The humble banana becomes an expression of welcome, joy, defiance, transition, love, plenty and evidence in this unlikely food poem. Enjoy!

They didn’t come for the bananas,
but everyone who came through
that hole in the wall wanted one,
the West ready with its Welkommen!
mountains of yellow.
After twenty-eight years of concrete-cold
days and only those few flowers
defiant in the cracks of denial,
imagine the yellow-fresh sight,
that spike on the tongue,
the fireworks and flares
shot through the half-language
of heavy machines shattering
the cold Baltic chill, the half-song,
half-wail of horns, sirens and shouts
and behind it all, Beethoven’s 9th,
then that East Berliner, shuffling out,
hatless and dazed in a worm-eaten brown coat
to see it, and not believe it—
the bright yellow word he’ll take home
to his wife, tight in his fist.

“The East Berliner, 1989” by Ginger Murchison from A Scrap of Linen, A Bone. © Press, 53, 2016.


Image from:


About lsbanu

I cook, eat, read and write.

4 comments on “The East Berliner, 1989 – Food Poem by Ginger Murchison

  1. Chez @ Chez Moi
    May 9, 2016

    great poem – love the idea of the banana as a symbol of the West and of freedom. And that image! Wonderful 🙂


    • lsbanu
      May 9, 2016

      Thank you for the comments. I thought so too and am so glad you enjoyed it!


  2. Maha Khan
    May 9, 2016

    I honestly have never ever come across poem like this. It’s so amazing. Thank you. I will share this on Thursday at Yoga class


    • lsbanu
      May 9, 2016

      I agree. The poem is historical, grand, political, intimate, gastronomic, colorful, complex and simple…all at the same time. I hope your yoga class likes it too! Thanks for reading and sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on May 9, 2016 by in Literature and tagged , , , , , .
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