National Poetry Month — Ode to my Socks by Pablo Neruda

Today was a treat. A couple of weeks ago I sent my husband Neruda’s "Ode to my Socks". He had agreed to have a Poetry Conversation with me and I debated several days as to which poem I would send him. I finally chose and told him to take as long as he needed.

Every couple of days he would bring it up (or I would, in a "when are you going to get the poem back to me" kind of way). He’d mention something that he loved as much as Neruda’s socks. His pen. His pajama pants. "I like comfortable things," he’d say. And I’d giggle. Because, you see, that is EXACTLY why I sent him this poem. Since we married, I’ve learned that there are certain things — it might be because of the perfect size of a thing that fits right in the crook of his hand, or the feel of a fabric against his skin, or even the visual appeal of a certain item — that get into his brain and make him feel like everything is right in his world. He’s difficult to buy for, because you just never know what that "thing" will be. For Neruda, it was socks made by the shepherd’s hands.

Ode to my Socks

By Pablo Neruda

Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
knitted with her own
shepherd’s hands,
two socks soft
as rabbits.
I slipped
my feet into them
as if
jewel cases
with threads of
and sheep’s wool

Read the rest here in English or in Spanish.

And for my husband, ONE of his "things" is his beloved office chair. Here is his version of Neruda’s poem, bordering on satire in places, but it most definitely made me laugh and brings me to admit that I am one lucky girl indeed to have such a good sport for a husband, as well as one who values words as much as myself. (You might enjoy comparing it to the original, in which case you will marvel as I did at his manner of thought.) And I promise if you read it all the way through, you will laugh. In more than one place. 🙂

Ode to my Office Chair

by Demps Dempsey

Sam Walton brought me
a leather office chair
crafted by the sandpaper hands
of nickel and dime Banana republic laborers,
one chair
like a big friendly bear.
I slipped
my butt into it
as if
a billowy cloud
with the fabric of
and supple Italian leather.
Triumphant chair,
my butt became
one leathery
one huge confectionary delight
of mahogany brown
with a khaki thread,
one ginormous haystack
one monarch’s robe
thus honored
my butt
It was
so comfortable
that for the first time
my butt seemed
a stranger to me,
a dream
of a promised love,
but not recognized.
A haunting
by the espresso
of that stately
I quelled
the overhwelming urge
to shake away
the cobwebs of the dream
at rising,
the way a dog sends
water flying from its fur,
the way
a pencil erases its trace.
I resisted
the call
to set the chair
across the room
and silently stare
as at a beautiful girl
with olive hue
and hazel eyes
pondering what she must
be like.
Like Indiana Jones
spanning the chasm
with his whip
with delight,
I stuck out my butt
and eased it
the fluffy
So this is
the moral of my odes:
Most honored
is hope enountered
and what is comfortable
is truly comfortable
when it is the case of one
supreme office chair
at work time.

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6 thoughts on “National Poetry Month — Ode to my Socks by Pablo Neruda

  1. OH,absolutely brilliant!! *thunderous applause*

    LOVE it — so many great phrases — espresso echo! one leathery marshmallow!

    😀 😀 😀

    The socks poem was good, too — but can you imagine what would happen if Demps wore those socks while sitting in his chair?! *faint*

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