Ode to My Socks

by Pablo Neruda

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Topics for Further Study

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Research the literary form of the ode. In what sense does Neruda use the ode for its traditional purpose and to what extent does he revise its use? Does the traditional ode have a moral, as "Ode to My Socks" does?

Investigate the post-World War II poetry of Neruda's contemporary, the Chilean poet Nicanor Parra (1914-). Examine the differences between Neruda's "impure poetry" as he uses it in his odes and Parra's "antipoetry."

In "Ode to My Socks" Neruda compares his woolen socks to rabbit fur, jewel cases, sharks, blackbirds, and cannons. Compare his use of similes here to those used in his other odes or poems. Pay attention to the use of figurative and concrete language.

Think of ordinary objects that can be celebrated in an ode. What poetic or literary devices are used to elevate the significance of common things?

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