Ode to My Suit

Ode to My Suit Literary Elements

Speaker or Narrator, and Point of View

The speaker is a writer who wears the same suit every day. He has a daily routine, where he showers, dresses, walks, meets people, and then writes. He has enemies, or imagines he does. He appreciates everyday objects and ponders spiritual questions.

Form and Meter

Free verse with enjambment and end stops.

Metaphors and Similes

“Still/only half awake/I leave the shower/to shrug into your sleeves,”

Some translations of the Spanish word "agua" in the original poem use the word “water” instead of “shower.” This emphasizes how the line, in the original Spanish, has a double meaning, referring both literally to getting out of the shower or bath, and also, in a metaphorical sense, comparing waking up to emerging from underwater.

“In the wind/you flap and hum/as if you were my soul,”

This sentence begins with a simile that compares the presence of his suit, its motion and sound, to his own soul.

Alliteration and Assonance


English: setting/opening/creasing
Spanish version: labrandome los manos,/abriendome los ojos,/gastandome la boca,
The word "and" (in Spanish, "y") begins lines 12, 25, 30, 53, 57, and 71.



Ode: a lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated in style or manner and written in varied or irregular meter.


Interior domestic (chair, shower, window), exterior (the streets where the speaker and his suit walk), and the speaker’s imagination (exploring dreams and possible futures).



Protagonist and Antagonist

Protagonists: The speaker & his suit. Antagonists: “an enemy bullet”

Major Conflict


The fourth sentence, in which the speaker imagines their death.




Metonymy and Synecdoche

The suit is at times a metonym for the speaker:
“you will grow ill,
with me, with my body,
and together
we will be lowered
into the earth.”


The suit is personified—partially. It is “waiting” like a human, but once the speaker puts the suit on, it is “filled” by his emotions and body.

In another gesture of personification, the speaker gives his suit life. As it “grows/in the image of my own” the speaker grants himself a fatherly or god-like status, as in the Christian Bible, God creates Adam in his own image.

The bullet is personified as well. The phrase is an “enemy bullet” rather than an “enemy’s bullet.”