Missed you all!/ (Delayed) Poem for the Solstice


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Posted by Cricket on 12/28/01 - 16:29:16
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Just back from the Sierras.  Quick messages & then poem: Donna(Yukiah) & Liz, thank you so much! (details in EM)  Bob, thanks for your post of 12/21  re: our "beautiful asylum" (you help keep us warm!) Eth, Eth: I just read a week's worth of A-Deck posts.  Girl, who let you loose with all that Cab & Chardonnay?  Every post, you're pouring!   There'd better be no complaints from Dionysus about proper worship on this site...  (Sorry I missed it, & all of you.  On the other hand, we had 4 feet of fresh snow & a Samoyed who'd never seen it before.)
Ok, here's a favorite winter poem I'd wanted to leave on the longest night of the year:


                 ODE TO MY SOCKS

                 by Pablo Neruda
                 (trans. by R. Bly)

Maru 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 though into
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
into 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.




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