To the socks…

by knittinginatree

Thank you all for your kind comments on my previous post. It’s good to be back here and to have your support. I’m hopeful for the future and look forward to continuing to share some of it on here with you.

Today is the birthday of Pablo Neruda. I’ve been taking some time to revisit his odes today. Inevitably I stumbled upon Ode to My Socks. I’m sure this ode has made it’s way on many a knitting blog, but I thought it was time to share it on knitti1nginatree. But, first, did you know he wrote all of his poems in green ink? He believed green to be a sign of hope. So many of Neruda’s odes were about the ordinary–watermelon, onion, and artichoke. Now I’m thinking of his praises for the ordinary as being marked with hope.

Here’s to hope and to socks translated by Robert Bly.

Ode to My Socks

Mara Mori brought me
a pair of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder’s hands,
two socks as soft as rabbits.
I slipped my feet into them
as if they were two cases
knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin,
Violent socks,
my feet were two fish made of wool,
two long sharks
sea blue, shot through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
two cannons,
my feet were honored in this way
by these heavenly socks.
They were so handsome for the first time
my feet seemed to me unacceptable
like two decrepit firemen,
firemen unworthy of that woven fire,
of those glowing socks.

Nevertheless, I resisted the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere as schoolboys
keep fireflies,
as learned men collect
sacred texts,
I resisted the mad impulse to put them
in a golden cage and each day give them
birdseed and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers in the jungle
who hand over the very rare green deer
to the spit and eat it with remorse,
I stretched out my feet and pulled on
the magnificent socks and then my shoes.

The moral of my ode is this:
beauty is twice beauty
and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in winter.


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