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Daily Neruda: Ode to My Socks

This is a great poem by Pablo Neruda about some of the most common of everyday things - socks! It shows how truly anything can inspire beauty and art. Also, now that it's getting colder I appreciate a nice cozy pair of socks more and more. The poem was published in Neruda's collection "Nuevas odas elementales," or "New Elementary Odes" from 1956. I also included a picture of a pair of socks knitted by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, who is awesome not only because of her cool last name but because she knitted some of Neruda's poem into the socks! You can read about it on her Yarn Harlot blog, linked here as well. "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 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. "Oda a mis calcetines" By Pablo Neruda (Original Spanish) Me trajo Mara Mori un par de calcetines, que tejió con sus manos de pastora, dos calcetines suaves como liebres. En ellos metí los pies como en dos estuches tejidos con hebras del crepúsculo y pellejos de ovejas. Violentos calcetines, mis pies fueron dos pescados de lana, dos largos tiburones de azul ultramarino atravesados por una trenza de oro, dos gigantescos mirlos, dos cañones; mis pies fueron honrados de este modo por estos celestiales calcetines. Eran tan hermosos que por primera vez mis pies me parecieron inaceptables, como dos decrépitos bomberos, bomberos indignos de aquel fuego bordado, de aquellos luminosos calcetines. Sin embargo, resistí la tentación aguda de guardarlos como los colegiales preservan las luciénagas, como los eruditos coleccionan documentos sagrados, resistí el impulso furioso de ponerlas en una jaula de oro y darles cada día alpiste y pulpa de melón rosado. Como descubridores que en la selva entregan el rarísimo venado verde al asador y se lo comen con remordimiento, estiré los pies y me enfundé los bellos calcetines, y luego los zapatos. Y es esta la moral de mi Oda: Dos veces es belleza la belleza, y lo que es bueno es doblemente bueno, cuando se trata de dos calcetines de lana en el invierno.
@WordDoctor That bit is really nice: I believe we all have those things we love but don't fully appreciate (I often feel this way ahout my suits!)I like the line "what is good is doubly good when it is a matter of two socks made of wool in winter." There's nothing I can contest about it!
"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." It reminds me of how I hoard beautiful stationary, treasured dearly, boxed up neatly away - then regret that I haven't used to for its true purpose, to send beauty out into the world and create lovely connections.
I love this piece! An Ode to Socks, an ode to the things that we should love more but we don't, an ode to all things that we appreciate more when needed, like the warmth of wool in the winter. @WordDoctor
@greggr This is one of my favorite parts:
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Daily Neruda: Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market
In keeping with my spontaneous theme this week of Pablo Neruda's poems about ordinary things, here is another about - tuna! I actually find tuna fascinating because I was so shocked when I found out how large they are in the wild. I always pictured them as small fish when I was a child. It gives me shivers to think of these large creatures cutting through the water! So ordinary in our cuisine, but so majestic in their habitat. The image is by Sebastiao Salgado from the linked post on Salt Salon. "Ode to a Large Tune in the Market" By Pablo Neruda Translated by Robin Robertson Here, among the market vegetables, this torpedo from the ocean depths, a missile that swam, now lying in front of me dead. Surrounded by the earth's green froth —these lettuces, bunches of carrots— only you lived through the sea's truth, survived the unknown, the unfathomable darkness, the depths of the sea, the great abyss, le grand abîme, only you: varnished black-pitched witness to that deepest night. Only you: dark bullet barreled from the depths, carrying only your one wound, but resurgent, always renewed, locked into the current, fins fletched like wings in the torrent, in the coursing of the underwater dark, like a grieving arrow, sea-javelin, a nerveless oiled harpoon. Dead in front of me, catafalqued king of my own ocean; once sappy as a sprung fir in the green turmoil, once seed to sea-quake, tidal wave, now simply dead remains; in the whole market yours was the only shape left with purpose or direction in this jumbled ruin of nature; you are a solitary man of war among these frail vegetables, your flanks and prow black and slippery as if you were still a well-oiled ship of the wind, the only true machine of the sea: unflawed, undefiled, navigating now the waters of death. Among the market greens, a bullet from the ocean depths, a swimming projectile, I saw you, dead. All around you were lettuces, sea foam of the earth, carrots, grapes, but of the ocean truth, of the unknown, of the unfathomable shadow, the depths of the sea, the abyss, only you had survived, a pitch-black, varnished witness to deepest night. Only you, well-aimed dark bullet from the abyss, mangled at one tip, but constantly reborn, at anchor in the current, winged fins windmilling in the swift flight of the marine shadow, a mourning arrow, dart of the sea, olive, oily fish. I saw you dead, a deceased king of my own ocean, green assault, silver submarine fir, seed of seaquakes, now only dead remains, yet in all the market yours was the only purposeful form amid the bewildering rout of nature; amid the fragile greens you were a solitary ship, armed among the vegetables, fin and prow black and oiled, as if you were still the vessel of the wind, the one and only pure ocean machine: unflawed, navigating the waters of death. "Oda a un Gran Atún en el Mercardo" By Pablo Neruda (Original Spanish) En el mercado verde, bala del profundo océano proyectil natatorio, te vi, muerto. Todo a tu alrededor eran lechugas, espuma de la tierra, zanahorias, racimos, pero de la verdad marina, de lo desconocido, de la insondable sombra, agua profunda, abismo, sólo tú sobrevivías alquitranado, barnizado, testigo de la profunda noche. Sólo tú, bala oscura del abismo, certera, destruida sólo en un punto, siempre renaciendo, anclando en la corriente sus aladas alets, circulando en la velocidad, en el transcurso de la sombra marina como enlutada flecha, dardo del mar, intrépida aceituna. Muerto te vi, difunto rey de mi propio océano, ímpetu verde, abeto submarino, nuez de los maremotos, allí, despojo muerto, en el mercado era sin embargo tu forma lo único dirigido entre la confusa derrota de la naturaleza: entre la verdura frágil estabas solo como una nave, armado entre legumbres, con ala y proa negras y aceitadas, como si aún tú fueras la embarcación del viento, la única y pura máquina marina: intacta navegando las aguas de la la muerte.
A Blissful Place for Manga Lovers!
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Must Read Friday: One Hundred Years of Solitude
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3 Korean Authors To Add To Your Reading List
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Daily Neruda: Adonic Angela
Alas, fellow fans of Pablo Neruda both old and new, it is time to say goodbye to our dear poet for a time! In the interest of variety and widening our poetic experiences, I will end with this 10th installment of Daily Neruda and move on to another poet we can get to know and love. Maybe I'll come back to our friend Neruda in the future! Which poet will I feature next? You'll have to keep an eye on the Poetry community and see! For now, I end our lovely days of Neruda with one of my favorites, "Adonic Angela." As with some of the other poems, this one is featured prominently in the film Il Postino, I believe when Neruda's protege is learning what a metaphor is. I've linked a video of a beautiful scene from the movie, with audio laid over from the soundtrack featuring a reading of Adonic Angela by Willem Dafoe. I also recommend reading my related Card, "What is a Metaphor and How Do You Make One?": http://www.vingle.net/posts/587315-What-is-a-Metaphor-and-How-to-You-Make-One# "Adonic Angela" By Pablo Neruda Today I stretched out next to a pure young woman as if at the shore of a white ocean, as if at the center of a burning star of slow space. From her lengthily green gaze the light fell like dry water, in transparent and deep circles of fresh force. Her bosom like a two-flamed fire burned raised in two regions and in a double river reached her large, clear feet. A climate of gold barely ripened the diurnal lengths of her body filling it with extended fruits and hidden fire. "Ángela adónica" By Pablo Neruda (Spanish original) Hoy me he tendido junto a una joven pura como a la orilla de un océano blanco, como en el centro de una ardiente estrella de lento espacio. De su mirada largamente verde la luz caía como un agua seca, en transparentes y profundos círculos de fresca fuerza. Su pecho como un fuego de dos llamas ardía en dos regiones levantado, y en doble río llegaba a sus pies, grandes y claros. Un clima de oro maduraba apenas las diurnas longitudes de su cuerpo llenándolo de frutas extendidas y oculto fuego.
Daily Neruda: If You Forget Me
This is one of my favorite all-time Pablo Neruda poems - I'm so happy to share it with you today! It has so many emotions and states of mind inside of it, reflecting the turbulence of relationships. There are many, many poems about missing someone you love - but this to me is the most masterful and poignant. It is also one of the poems included in the celebrity readings from the Il Postino soundtrack. This one is read by Madonna, beautifully. I included a link for you, @timeturnerjones! Please enjoy: "If You Forget Me" By Pablo Neruda I want you to know one thing. You know how this is: if I look at the crystal moon, at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window, if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled body of the log, everything carries me to you, as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me. Well, now, if little by little you stop loving me I shall stop loving you little by little. If suddenly you forget me do not look for me, for I shall already have forgotten you. If you think it long and mad, the wind of banners that passes through my life, and you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots, remember that on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms and my roots will set off to seek another land. But if each day, each hour, you feel that you are destined for me with implacable sweetness, if each day a flower climbs up to your lips to seek me, ah my love, ah my own, in me all that fire is repeated, in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, my love feeds on your love, beloved, and as long as you live it will be in your arms without leaving mine. "Si tú me olvidas" By Pablo Neruda (Spanish original) Quiero que sepas una cosa. Tú sabes cómo es esto: si miro la luna de cristal, la rama roja del lento otoño en mi ventana, si toco junto al fuego la impalpable ceniza o el arrugado cuerpo de la leña, todo me lleva a ti, como si todo lo que existe, aromas, luz, metales, fueran pequeños barcos que navegan hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan. Ahora bien, si poco a poco dejas de quererme dejaré de quererte poco a poco. Si de pronto me olvidas no me busques, que ya te habré olvidado. Si consideras largo y loco el viento de banderas que pasa por mi vida y te decides a dejarme a la orilla del corazón en que tengo raíces, piensa que en ese día, a esa hora levantaré los brazos y saldrán mis raíces a buscar otra tierra. Pero si cada día, cada hora sientes que a mí estás destinada con dulzura implacable. Si cada día sube una flor a tus labios a buscarme, ay amor mío, ay mía, en mí todo ese fuego se repite, en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida, mi amor se nutre de tu amor, amada, y mientras vivas estará en tus brazos sin salir de los míos.
Daily Neruda: 'Tis the Morrow Full of Storm
Now that the week is nearing its close, I wanted to change pace a bit and share one of Pablo Neruda's love poems. This one is from the collection "Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada," or "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair." Poem IV By Pablo Neruda Translated by J.B. Donne 'Tis the morrow full of storm in the heart of summer. The wandering hands of the wind shake the clouds like white handkerchiefs waved in farewell. Innumerable heart of the wind fluttering over our silence of love. Humming through the trees, heavenly music, like a tongue full of songs and wars. Winds that lifts the fallen leaves in robbery and turns the palpitating flights of the birds. Wind that throws them down in foamless waves and weightless shapes, and falling flames. Their volume of kisses breaks and goes under fought at the gate of the summer wind. Poem IV By Pablo Neruda (Spanish original) Es la mañana llena de tempestad en el corazón del verano. Como pañuelos blancos de adiós viajan las nubes, el viento las sacude con sus viajeras manos. Innumerable corazón del viento latiendo sobre nuestro silencio enamorado. Zumbando entre los árboles, orquestal y divino, como una lengua llena de guerras y de cantos. Viento que lleva en rápido robo la hojarasca y desvía las flechas latientes de los pájaros. Viento que la derriba en ola sin espuma y sustancia sin peso, y fuegos inclinados. Se rompe y se sumerge su volumen de besos combatido en la puerta del viento del verano.
Daily Neruda: Ode to the Artichoke
"Ode to the Artichoke" By Pablo Neruda Translated by Phillip Hill The tender-hearted artichoke dressed up as a warrior, erect, it built itself a little dome, it kept itself impregnable beneath its armoured leaves, beside it the raving vegetables began to frizzle, they turned themselves into tendrils, bullrushes, touching bulbs, below the ground the red-moustachioed carrot slept, the vine dried out its shoots through which wine climbs, the leafy cabbage took to trying on skirts, oregano to scenting the world, and the sweet artichoke there in the garden, was dressed as a warrior, burnished like a grenade and proud, and one day assembled with its fellows in large wicker baskets, it walked through the market to make its dream of soldiery come true. In ranks it never was so military as at the market, the men among the vegetables with their white shirts were marshals of the artichokes the serried files, the ordering voices, and the report of a fallen crate, but then Maria comes along and with her basket, picks out an artichoke she isn't scared, she scrutinizes it, considers it against the light as if it were an egg, and buys it, tossing it into her bag jumbled together with a pair of shoes, a cabbage and a bottle full of vinegar until when entering her kitchen she plunges it into a pot. Thus ends in peace the enlistment of this armed vegetable called the artichoke, after which leaf after leaf we undress its deliciousness and eat the peaceful substance of its green heart. "Oda a la alcachofa" By Pablo Neruda (Original Spanish) La alcachofa de tierno corazón se vistió de guerrero, erecta, construyó una pequeña cúpula, se mantuvo impermeable bajo sus escamas, a su lado los vegetales locos se encresparon, se hicieron zarcillos, espadañas, bulbos conmovedores, en el subsuelo durmió la zanahoria de bigotes rojos, la viña resecó los sarmientos por donde sube el vino, la col se dedicó a probarse faldas, el orégano a perfumar el mundo, y la dulce alcachofa allí en el huerto, vestida de guerrero, bruñida como una granada, orgullosa, y un día una con otra en grandes cestos de mimbre, caminó por el mercado a realizar su sueño: la milicia. En hileras nunca fue tan marcial como en la feria, los hombres entre las legumbres con sus camisas blancas eran mariscales de las alcachofas, las filas apretadas, las voces de comando, y la detonación de una caja que cae, pero entonces viene María con su cesto, escoge una alcachofa, no le teme, la examina, la observa contra la luz como si fuera un huevo, la compra, la confunde en su bolsa con un par de zapatos, con un repollo y una botella de vinagre hasta que entrando a la cocina la sumerge en la olla. Así termina en paz esta carrera del vegetal armado que se llama alcachofa, luego escama por escama desvestimos la delicia y comemos la pacífica pasta de su corazón verde.