year of the pig

We are now officially well into the Year of the Pig. And, frankly, if the Year of the Dog was a bitch, this year has already been a pig of a year.

Back when I lived in Spain, pigs loomed large in my life. So here I’m just going to gather together some old blog posts that have featured pigs and pig products, boars and other related issues, and also re-post a few relevant images, starting with this little pig who went to market and half startled the life out of me as he nestled in among the reconstituted crab sticks.

This post won’t include all the porcine prose and poetry posted here. Searching the archives for terms pig, boar, slaughter, cerdo etc will probably turn up some other posts, though there will also be pigeons and keyboards etc.

As I’ve said often enough, in Spain we lived out in the country. One year, these were our nearest neighbours.

Perhaps as I walked passed this hook swinging from a tree almost every day on the way home, I should have expected it to be used at some point.

hook & chain silhouette against sky

True, I wasn’t present, but I’m pretty sure it was involved in the scene I reported hearing in Pigging out:

It’s Saturday, it’s a public holiday, and I was planning a a long, lazy weekend, starting with a lie-in. Instead, we were woken around 8 a.m. by the sound of a pig being slaughtered. […]

And the slaughter wasn’t only in our village. This was the scene that welcomed us to a nearby village on one of our earliest excursions after moving to the area.

I don’t think any subject is unsuitable for poetry, but my feelings towards la matanza remain ambivalent. Of pigs and poetry

I took a new poem-in-progress into the writers’ group on Tuesday. Its title is La Matanza – the Spanish word for slaughter or massacre. […]

close of up sculpture boar's eye

Not all the Spanish pigs were domestic pigs, of course. As recounted in Wild boars and motorbikes, the neighbours assured me that not all the wild pigs were dead or dying, though I never saw a live one outside a cage – usually in the run up to Christmas.

There were occasional sightings of dead ones, though, such as this one waiting in restaurant car park while its owners had lunch.

In the more recent post Autumn memmories you can read a copy of Village Customs, a prose poem that originated as jottings here on the blog, then was polished and appeared in The Apple Anthology published by Nine Arches Press.

butcher-ready pigs: half corpses hanging in a delivery truck

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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