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Sacred Socks & Pablo Neruda

Posted on 08 July 2011

Maybe you didn't quite get just how obsessed I am with knitting. Here's an example: I could not properly express the joy I feel with my new socks, knitted from delicious "soft girl" yarn from local Petaluma sheep, until I came across Pablo Neruda's Ode to Socks, excerpted way below in English and Spanish. Thank you, Mom, for sending me the link to Pablo's poem.

Welcome to my new socks for my 2011 Organic Challenge!
wear organic | schmear organic | eat organic
Are these socks crazy good? Have I lost my mind? The yarn is from local Petaluma sheep owned by the wise and wonderful Mimi Luebbermann of Windrush Farms.
Pablo understands....
ODE TO MY SOCKS (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 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 tempation 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. Now, in Espanol.... ODA A LOS CALCETINES por Pablo Neruda 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 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 sus luciérnagas, como los eruditos coleccionan documentos sagrados, resistí el impulso furioso de ponerlos en una jaula de oro y darles cada dia 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. Nuevas odas elementales, 1956
With deepest thanks to Rebecca Burgess for inspiring this work with her friendship and her brilliant project,Fibershed!

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