"Ode to My Socks" is a poem about poetry. Or, at least it is a poem about Pablo Neruda's idea of what poetry is and what it should be. In some of his other odes, like "Ode to Salt," "Ode to a Watermelon,'' and "Ode to Laziness," he does what he does best—he shows us the magic in the mundane. He shows us how poetry is everywhere, and all we have to do is change how we look at the world. Neruda achieves this effect through his brilliant play with ekphrasis. An ekphrasis is a poem, usually an ode, dedicated or written about an art object. The most famous use of ekphrasis is probably John...
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