Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Poem - Ode to My Docs

One of the exercises I often set students is to write an extraordinary ode to an ordinary object, using hyperbole to make the object extraordinary. This exercise is, of course, based on Pablo Neruda's wonderful odes Here's an example I wrote. I don't want to confess to how many pairs of docs I own. Let's just say that most recently they include a pair of high-heeled docs which I can actually walk in. (No affiliation etc.)

Ode to My Docs

As graceful as camels, these shoes,
round-toed, innocent.
See how they gape
affronted by that stiletto’s lewd invitation.
Even the new wild cherry suede
with peekaboo cut-outs
can’t glamour this orthopedic pair.
Like horses (clop clop)
grazing at mild grass in all weathers
or nuns prayerfully wearing a quiet path
round and round the convent garden
these guileless shoes sturdy as Highland calves
decorous as a first date
tramp solidly through their daily chores.
My feet slip into old-fashioned, broad-shouldered words.
These shoes do not admit temporary flirtations.
These virtuous shoes say
in callous, bunion, blister and corn
in sleet, mud and sweat
I do, I do.

Catherine Bateson from: Marriage for Beginners, John Leonard Press


Helen Lowe said...

Great poem: "I like."

And tho' no Docs, I also very much like me own boots of like kind ...

Mary McCallum said...

Oh this is lovely - especially 'as graceful as camels' - I must print it out forthwith to show my friend Christina who has gorgeous docs. And I think I need to buy a pair of docs for myself. I've never had any. Thanks Catty. And I'll remember the exercise idea. Brilliant.