Saturday, June 17, 2006

Oda a los Calcetines / Ode to Socks

by Pablo Neruda

Me trajo Mara Mori
un par de calcetines,
que tejió con sus manos de pastora,
dos calcetines suaves como liebres.
En ellos metí los pies
como en dos estuches
tejidos con hebras del
crepúsculo y pellejos de ovejas.

Violentos calcetines,
mis pies fueron dos pescados de lana,
dos largos tiburones
de ázul ultramarino
atravesados por una trenza de oro,
dos gigantescos mirlos,
dos cañones;
mis pies fueron honrados de este modo
por estos celestiales calcetines.

Eran tan hermosos que por primera vez
mis pies me parecieron inaceptables,
como dos decrépitos bomberos,
bomberos indignos de aquél fuego bordado,
de aquellos luminosos calcetines.

Sin embargo, resistí la tentación
aguda de guardarlos como los colegiales
preservan las luciernagas,
como los heruditos coleccionan
documentos sagrados,
resisti el impulso furioso de ponerlas
en una jaula de oro y darle cada
día alpiste y pulpa de melón rosado.

Como descubridores que en la selva
entragan el rarísimo venado verde
al asador y se lo comen con remordimiento,
estire los pies y me enfunde
los bellos calcetines, y luego los zapatos.
Y es esta la moral de mi Oda:
Dos veces es belleza la belleza,
y lo que es bueno es doblemente bueno,
cuando se trata de dos calcetines
de lana en el invierno.


Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
that she knit with her
shepherd's hands.

Two socks as soft
as rabbit fur.

I thrust my feet
inside them
as if they were
two
little boxes
knit
from threads
of sunset
and sheepskin.

My feet were
two woolen
fish
in those outrageous socks,
two gangly,
navy-blue sharks
impaled
on a golden thread,
two giant blackbirds,
two cannons:

thus
were my feet
honored
by
those
heavenly
socks.

They were
so beautiful
I found my feet
unlovable
for the very first time,
like two crusty old
firemen, firemen
unworthy
of that embroidered
fire,
those incandescent
socks.

Nevertheless
I fought
the sharp temptation
to put them away
the way schoolboys
put
fireflies in a bottle,
the way scholars
hoard
holy writ.

I fought
the mad urge
to lock them
in a golden
cage
and feed them birdseed
and morsels of pink melon
every day.

Like jungle
explorers
who deliver a young deer
of the rarest species
to the roasting spit
then wolf it down
in shame,
I stretched
my feet forward
and pulled on
those
gorgeous
socks,
and over them
my shoes.

So this is
the moral of my ode:
beauty is beauty
twice over
and good things are doubly
good
when you're talking about a pair of wool
socks
in the dead of winter.

2 comments:

DempseyBooks said...

This is a lovely poem and the English translations are slightly different on certain words. Did you translate this poem, Ode to Socks? Or is it taken from an English translation in one of Neruda's books?

Beatriz Martínez Lopez said...

Me ha gustado mucho esta oda a los calcetines personalizdos, me ha encantado!