Better than all power tools
is the socket wrench:
its accommodating nature
its chrome-plated steel
its handling of torque.
It can make a complete revolution
from the smallest arc
& as if time could turn
in either direction
with the click of a lever
the past screwed down
the future loose
a spring-loaded finger
the gearwheel’s teeth.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- Odes to Tools now in print
- Ode to a Socket Wrench
- Ode to a Claw Hammer
- Ode to a Musical Saw
- Ode to a Hand Truck
- Ode to a Shovel
- Ode to a Hatchet
- Ode to Scissors
- Ode to a Bucket
- Ode to Forks
- Ode to a Magnetic Screwdriver
- Ode to a Plumb Bob
- Ode to a House Jack
- Ode to a Measuring Tape
- Ode to Scythes
- Ode to a Plane
- Ode to a Spirit Level
- Ode to a Hoe
- Ode to Tin Snips
- Ode to a Crowbar
- Ode to a Coping Saw
- Ode to a Hive Tool
- Ode to a Compass
- Ode to a Shoehorn
- Ode to a Wire Brush
- Woodrat Podcast 2: Elizabeth Adams and “Odes to Tools”
- New Odes to Tools review by Noel Sloboda
- New review of Odes to Tools
- New review of Odes to Tools by Kathleen Kirk
- Odes to Tools as “living poetry”
- Scythes revisited
11 Replies to “Ode to a Socket Wrench”
I love this.
How delightful. I love how it does not hit you over the head, such as a hammer might do.
You’ve turned something utilitarian into something even I can admire, nice one!
I don’t know how you do it, Dave. but I’m sure glad you do. I really relate to this one. First of all it’s a tool I have actually used, but also as a metaphor for life, it’s lovely. With this tool, we have some hands on control, we still have to consider the past, and we can take little clicky baby steps into the future. Contrast this with a power wrench which bullies its way blindly into the future, shredding the threads of the past and oft times locking a “tire’ into a state where it can never get free.
Not a word too many. Full of grace. “The past screwed down /the future loose.” Yes.
Yes, very nice cadence to this. (Which makes me think of cycling, and thus bicycle wrenches…) Spare. Torqued to precision. :-)
Hey, thanks for the kind words, y’all.
sarah b – Now you have me thinking I should try an ode to a hammer, too.
Joan – I can’t help feeling that you’ve understood this poem better than I understand it myself. I’m not sure where some of these posts have been coming from, lately: I’m experimenting with a new technique of writing late at night, when I’m utterly exhausted, and I have to focus hard on every word. For years I’ve done my best writing first thing in the morning, so this represents a 180° switch — a tightening instead of a loosening, I think.
leslee – Thanks. The cadence is always very important to me.
Consider an entire toolbox of poems. Just being able to write the words “vice grips” brings tears to my eyes.
Ah, and you do it all in form — 2,3,2,3… — I love this. Elegant. Like the tool.
I like the pic of the socket wrench set next to your feet. Most socket wrenchers find it easier to use their hands. ;)
sarah b – Shhh! You’ll hex it. I’m strictly a one-poem-at-a-time kind of guy.
SB – Thanks. Well, I didn’t intend to write it in any form, but that’s the shape it assumed.
Jarrett – It depends entirely on what you’re going to use them for.