two socks made of wool in winter

ODE TO MY SOCKS by Pablo Neruda

(translated by Robert Bly)

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 though into 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 tempation
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.

(when I talk about the “deep romance of everyday life” I think that this poem is exactly what I mean)

One response to “two socks made of wool in winter

  1. I have a few of Pablo’s poetry books. There is one about ironing that Barry gave me…lol…I iron everything. Well, I used to until O.
    Glad you are enjoying your snow day.
    We are too. I am going to get everyone dressed and go out after lunch. Hannah is twisting my arm wanting to go to Target. So, we are going to do that.
    ML

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s