Why is the poet searching for his socks in "Ode to My Socks"?

In "Ode to My Socks," the poet is searching for his socks because he remembers that they are very beautiful and very comfortable.

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In "Ode to My Socks," the speaker reminisces about a pair of socks that he says were "heavenly." He implies that they were "heavenly" in part because of how comfortable they were. Indeed, he uses a simile early in the poem when he says that the socks were "as soft / as rabbits." The speaker also points out that the socks were "made of wool" and that this wool was especially comfortable "in winter." The implication here is that the socks were comfortable in part because they kept his feet so warm.

The speaker also declares that his socks were very beautiful. He says that the socks were "so handsome" that they made his feet look ugly, like "firemen / unworthy / of that woven / fire." Elsewhere in the poem, the speaker describes the socks as "golden," "glowing," and "magnificent." These words suggest that the socks were not only very beautiful but also, perhaps because of their great beauty, very precious and valuable. Indeed, the speaker compares how valuable the socks were to him to how valuable a "very rare / green deer" might be to an explorer and to how valuable "fireflies" might be to "schoolboys."

The speaker also searches for his socks because of how they made him feel. Throughout the poem he implies that his socks made him feel "honored" and even powerful. The impression of power is conveyed when he compares his feet in the socks to "two long sharks ... two immense blackbirds, / two cannons." The impression that the socks make him feel "honored" to wear them is suggested mostly by the fact that the speaker has dedicated a whole poem to them.

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