The theme of “Ode to my Socks” is that beauty is made more beautiful if it is also utilitarian. This theme is most evident in the last stanza, where the speaker explains the “moral” of his ode:
So this is
the moral of my ode:
beauty is beauty
and good things are doubly
when you're talking about a pair of wool
in the dead of winter.
The usefulness of the socks is made clear in the reference to the setting being “the dead of winter,” because the socks can be used for the practical purpose of keeping his feet warm. But what about the beauty of the socks? This is where Neruda’s fantastic use of imagery comes in.
The majority of the poem sets up this moral by celebrating the fierce beauty of the socks. The beauty is found in the visual imagery when Neruda describes his temptation to put the socks into a casement where they can be showcased for their beauty. In stanza seven, he compares them to “fireflies in a bottle” that children commonly store away in jars. The...
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