A Ballad of Inquiry

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A Ballad of Inquiry
An Analysis of “Ode To My Socks”

A Ballad of Inquiry
An Analysis of “Ode To My Socks”

In the religion of Taoism, cherishing what you have in the present is an essential idea. Envy of strangers’ possessions and wanting miscellaneous objects or feats clouds one’s mind. Loving what life has to offer, even the insignificant events, allows you to live a joyful and less stressful life. Pablo Neruda was able to capture the essence of Taoism in his poem, “Ode To My Socks”. The way Neruda wrote the poem, invokes emotion towards cherishing life for what it is, instead of being greedy or envious of other peoples’ lives.

Pablo Neruda holds the ability to describe an immense story while only using few words to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. Neruda portrays the speaker of the poem as a poor middle aged man who still carries his imagination. “Maru Mori brought me/ a pair/ of socks/ which she knitted herself/ with her sheepherder’s hands,/ two socks as soft/ as rabbits./ I slipped my feet into them/ as though into/ two cases/ knitted/ with threads of/ twilight/ and goatskin” (Lines 1-14). These two lines call to mind the picture of poverty-stricken folks in a needy farm town. He also shows the reader that the community is close and family like, which is a foreshadowing of the idea that the people in this area are impoverished, yet willing to help out one another at no cost. Lines 6 through 28 is where Neruda tells the reader how the speaker has a childish mind. The speaker describes the socks in a way that a young child would. The speaker’s audience is any reader that has been stricken by the sickness of greed, only to show these sinful people how life is so much more than money and power. This leads to the purpose of the poem. Neruda’s writing should allow the audience to feel guilty for wanting so much, and start to appreciate life more. When you cloud your mind of dreams of envy, you are not able to see how beautiful the...
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