In truth, I'm really a poet who has also been a long-time knitter. I confess that my stash of yarn competes with my growing piles of literary journals and books of poetry. I confess that I haven't knit in a long time and that, as I revise poetry on my Mac, I'm gazing up at the rows of multi-colored spines adorned with bright artwork and sometimes glittering titles. And in between all these books is an assortment of some of the most gorgeous fall colored wool, mohair, llama, and cotton yarns, just waiting to be "published." Er, "knitted to completion," rather.
I confess that I will revise this post several times before I'm happy with it.
During my internet travels today I came across the following poem, which was translated by one of my favorite poets, Robert Bly.
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 though into two cases
knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin.
my feet were two fish made of wool,
two long sharks
sea blue, shot through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
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
as learned men collect
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.
Nuevas odas elementales, 1956
The Knit Chick