Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ode to Socks


I'm happy to report I finished my socks.  I don't know how many years it took me to finish this pair, but I remember knitting the leg of sock one on the train from Nice to Florence when we went to Europe a couple of years ago.


I love these colors, and nothing beats the feeling of hand knit socks.  Finishing up a pair of socks reminds me of the poem "Ode to My Socks" by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda:


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.

There are so many striking images in this poem.  I think I'll borrow the image of "woven fire" as a nickname for my socks.  


Inspired, I've cast on another pair.  Although I have successfully used a variation of the Roza's Socks pattern several times to knit socks that fit me perfectly, I'm feeling adventurous, and trying a new pattern, Laura Linneman's After Thought Heel Socks.  I figure if they don't fit me, they'll fit someone, and bring them the pleasure of feeling their feet like"two fish made of wool."

3 comments:

margaret said...

they certainly look very warm and cosy

Judy S. said...

Great socks, Barbara. I love the colors. Love your new ones also. That's an interesting poem, thanks!

Magpie Sue said...

What a treat for your feet! Loved the poem. Hope you enjoy the journey with the new pair of socks. :- )