lukegilman.com : High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

Icon
Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at www.lukegilman.com

Odes to Things

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
Go to Comments | Be the First to Comment

Pablo Neruda, the nobel-prize winning Chilean poet, wrote several collections of poems in celebration of things. My favorite is Ode to a Pair of Socks, see below. I’ve created a new category for my own odes to things, for some things, even though they are material and will pass away like so much dust, deserve to be celebrated for their ingenuity, their usefulness and for the skill and care with which they were designed and made.

Ode to a pair of socks

Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
that she knit with her
shepherd’s hands.
Two socks as soft
as rabbit fur.
I thrust my feet
inside them
as if they were
two
little boxes
knit
from threads
of sunset
and sheepskin.

My feet were
two woolen
fish
in those outrageous socks,
two gangly,
navy-blue sharks
impaled
on a golden thread,
two giant blackbirds,
two cannons:
thus
were my feet
honored
by
those
heavenly
socks.
They were
so beautiful
I found my feet
unlovable
for the very first time,
like two crusty old
firemen, firemen
unworthy
of that embroidered
fire,
those incandescent
socks.

Nevertheless
I fought
the sharp temptation
to put them away
the way schoolboys
put
fireflies in a bottle,
the way scholars
hoard
holy writ.
I fought
the mad urge
to lock them
in a golden
cage
and feed them birdseed
and morsels of pink melon
every day.
Like jungle
explorers
who deliver a young deer
of the rarest species
to the roasting spit
then wolf it down
in shame,
I stretched
my feet forward
and pulled on
those
gorgeous
socks,
and over them
my shoes.

So this is
the moral of my ode:
beauty is beauty
twice over
and good things are doubly
good
when you’re talking about a pair of wool
socks
in the dead of winter.

Bookmark this Page:
  • e-mail
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • digg
  • Live
  • Furl
  • Ma.gnolia
  • Reddit
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Slashdot

Category: odes to common things

Tagged:

Leave a Reply