01 September 2008

Mmm, Blueberries!

Pret a Manger is a chain of British stores that sells fresh sandwiches, salads, and various other kinds of light, and usually cold, food.  They are one of my favourite chains - I really do find the food delicious, and not too heavy. Sometime last year they rolled out a series of in-store illustrations that were supposed to evoke the freshness of their food; these featured various anthropomorphised foodstuffs.  When I was here in January I saw one that delighted me, and last week I finally saw it again. It reminds me of Don Juan:

The reasons for this reminder might be more clear if I show you Delacroix's painting of the relevant scene from Juan:

I'm sure you get it now.  Here's the stanza from the poem itself, which comes after the ship in which Juan has been travelling has been wrecked on the high seas, and some fortunate few have been able to get in lifeboats:

The boats, as stated, had got off before,
And in them crowded several of the crew.
And yet their present hope was hardly more
Than what it had been, for so strong it blew
There was slight chance of reaching any shore.
And then they were too many, though so few,
Nine in the cutter, thirty in the boat
Were counted in them when they got afloat. (II.54)

So, Pret a Manger, I salute you:  not just fresh foodstuffs, but shipwrecked blueberries, too.

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