Ode to My Socks
What’s Up With the Title?
The title "Ode to My Socks" is a straightforward description of what the poem is and what it does. That is, it is an ode to a pair of socks.
An ode is a traditional poetic form, started back in Ancient Greece, that glorifies or praises someone or something. They were usually read in public to honor an Olympic athlete or a war hero. Writing an ode to socks instead of a hero or a battle is kind of a departure from that tradition, though.
The title tell us that the poem belongs in the collection of Neruda's other Elemental Odes, which are poems about everyday objects. It also tells us how to read the poem: the socks are inserted into a long, important poetic tradition (that's the "ode" part), but also challenge that tradition by making ordinary things special and poem-worthy (that's the "socks" part).