Thursday, April 18, 2013


It's not often that I covet someone else's job, but Blackbird had me green with envy with this post.  (Go read it now.)



In surprising ways!

I do love a little poetry--it's the most concentrated, delicious language. 

And it is National Poetry Month, which I used to make much of back in my teaching days. 

Here's one of my very favorites by Pablo Neruda:

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.


  1. Socks, hand knit wool socks. Such a warm blessing for cold feet. loved the poem. I have passed it on with author to the wonderful friend who knits me wool socks.

  2. The Lake Isle of Innisfree, by W.B. Yeats.
    ".... peace comes dropping slow,
    Dropping from the veils of the morning...."

    Thank you for the Pablo Neruda poems.

  3. I have never been much for poetry. Except Shel Silverstein. I love Where the Sidewalk Ends.

  4. Emily Dickinson. "Hope is the thing with feathers . . . " and "I'm nobody, who are you?" I love poetry and especially reading it aloud. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. from Edward Gorey: "Little Zooks, of whom no one was fond, They shot towards the roof and beyond; The infant's trajectory passed him over the rectory, And into a lily-choked pond."

  6. Well, now I love this second one!

    I like Ogden Nash and Robert Frost, of course.

  7. Poetry is the fodder of the young writer. It is quick, easy and keeps the ideas greased. I've written my fair share of poetry, even wrote a particularly fine jingle, in 1977, for a Kraft Macaroni and Cheese contest where I surely thought I'd win a prize...but no.

  8. Every morning on NPR, Garrison Keillor reads The Writer's Almanac and ends with a fine poem. ♥


Spill it, reader.