An Ode on Ravishing Radishes – E.A.


One of the most exceptional endings in English literature, is the 1819 phrasing by John Keats in his poem “An Ode on a Grecian Urn”:

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all 

                Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

March, with its wintery swing moods sweetly interrupted by teasing spring breezes, always inflicts in me the urge to start all over again. It’s the “re-“ month: rethink, redesign, reorganize and, especially, relish. Thinking of that word, it suddenly struck me that the English language doesn’t cherish a verb as “lish”. After which you would come to “re-lish”, as if “the feeling of liking something” and “the enjoyment of or delight in something that satisfies one’s tastes, inclinations, or desires” – as Merriam Webster defines the noun — is a one-time shot: it simply happens or not. Thinking of all those singularly exceptional moments in life when I felt ‘relished’ it was indeed by chance, in a glimpse at first sight, that a sudden outburst of joy at the sight of a great wonder took me by surprise.

Almost 200 years after Keats’ odes, it is exactly these outbursts, these little sparkling moments of pure passion, what I would love to write my own ode on. “An ode on relishing radishes”, to add some humor, would be its title. Radishes, the most underestimated vegetable par excellence, contains more secrets than one would consider thinking of at first sight. Besides all the health benefits – from blood pressure to constipation relief, I would particularly like to consider the bitter-sweet fiction that radishes hold. Just like the outburst of passion, unexpectedly, the sight and taste of a radish can make a summer salad nostalgic and your own nostalgia summer-sad.

Let yourself be swept away by the small wonders called passion

Given the daily routine we unconsciously slip into and from which we only barely awake by a sudden urge of excitement, it is wonderful to realize from time to time that work, study, and all those bloody obligations we face do not dull us. Look out, challenge yourself, be still and listen carefully, … let yourself be swept away by the small wonders called passion. It is unfair when people tell me they have no passion or talents, it even saddens me. Not much more is needed than a bright day in March, an eye for radishes lost in a summer salad bowl, or the desire to sit still close to a small riverbed. Moments like that give more energy than Redbull will ever be able to, and ensure that you can face again the fight against dullness. 3 seconds to save a lifetime.

At the closure of a very busy year, there is but one message I would like to share with all the great people I have met and, perhaps most of all to my future myself: be passionate.

Create little volcanos of eruptive desires, look beyond the ordinary, eat radishes and ravish. Write your own ode in life!

Elien finished English-Spanish Summa Cum Laude at Ghent University. Juggling energy between an extra master in Business Economics at Ghent University and International Management and Strategy at Vlerick Business School, she managed to win the renowned Sales Competition. In a pursuit of passion, her entrepreneurial character enticed her to organize this year’s Vlerick Prom. Put on your dancing shoes!



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