Lucy Vickery

Spectator competition winners: ‘Why must it always be tomato soup?’

[Photo: Lisovskaya]

In Competition No. 3217, you were invited to supply a poem that begins or ends with the line ‘Why must it always be tomato soup?’. In Katherine Mansfield’s short story ‘Bliss’, Eddie Warren, a poet, quotes this ‘incredibly beautiful line’ of poetry, which, it turns out, inspired an incredibly witty and well-made entry. Well done, all, and £20 to the winners.

‘Why must it always be tomato soup?’ said Andy. ‘It’s high time I made a change, I’ll start to paint a comprehensive group of every flavour in the Campbell’s range.’   He painted chicken, mushroom and split pea with turkey noodle, pepper-pot and bean, clam chowder, consommé and celery, asparagus, with onion in between,   scotch broth, ‘a hearty soup’ the label states, then chilli beef and minestrone — yes, the liquid delicacy resonates on every canvas — thirty two, no less.   ‘It’s in the can, my future is assured, I’ll churn out soup for ever and a day,’ he beamed, declaring, ‘Now at last I’ve scored and I’ll be rich, Pop Art is here to stay!’ Sylvia Fairley

Why must it always be tomato soup? That splendid fruit deserves a kinder fate Than being macerated to a gloop Then sieved into a sad denatured state. Left either whole or halved then grilled or fried Until its skin slides off, it’s almost sweet And takes a place of culinary pride With egg and bacon as a breakfast treat. And better still, without the need for heat, The taste of fresh sliced fruit is one to savour: Fine oil and salt then make the dish complete Epitomising pure and simple flavour. But best of all it’s eaten from the vine, As firstling of a newly-ripened crop, When heady scent and lusciousness combine To purge all thought of sipping dull red slop. W.J. Webster

Why must it always be tomato soup? My crisp white shirt, the one I loved to wear, be-spattered in one clumsy final scoop. My

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