Study Guide

Ode to My Socks Humility

By Pablo Neruda


Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
knitted with her own
shepherd's hands, (1-5)

These lines show just how un-fancy this ode is going to be: the gift is homemade, and the person who made it is a shepherd. It doesn't get much humbler than that.

They were
so beautiful
that for the first time
my feet seemed
unacceptable to me, (34-38)

The beauty of the socks in these lines humbles the speaker, in the sense of feeling unworthy. In comparison to their beautiful wrappers, the feet are humiliated. But, hey, since when is anyone that proud of their feet?

two tired old
fire fighters
not worthy
of the woven
of those luminous
socks. (39-45)

We get more unworthiness here, as the socks get greater and the feet get humbler. Soon they'll be bowing down to the socks like Wayne and Garth!

twice beautiful
is beauty
and what is good doubly
when it is a case of two
woolen socks
in wintertime. (81-88)

The first four lines of this quote are about the lofty poetic ideals of beauty and goodness, so the last three lines are sort of a humble surprise, since it turns out that beauty and goodness are defined as woolen socks. Gotcha!

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