Ode to My Suit

Ode to My Suit Quotes and Analysis

"I take my morning walk,/work my way into my poetry;/from my windows I see"

With the alliteration of walk/work/windows, the speaker describes the parallel journeys of walking and working, part of a process. Poetry is a mental place that he enters “into.” With the semicolon, he links this poetic state of mind to his vision of things that shape him. Through his windows (presumably back at home), he is able to see the world that creates his identity.

“you cling/to my bones,/abandoned, at nighttime”

These lines blur the subjectivities of speaker and suit. Is his suit abandoned at night, or is he? It could be read both ways. Some translations replace “abandoned” with “empty,” which would perhaps refer more explicitly to the suit. When he removes the suit at nighttime, leaving it on the chair for the morning, has he abandoned it, left it empty? Or has it abandoned him?

"I wonder/whether some day/an enemy/bullet/will stain you with my blood,/for then/you would die with me,"

Whether they die from an “enemy bullet” or from old age, the speaker assumes that he and his suit will die together. The bullet is personified: the phrase is an “enemy bullet” not an “enemy’s bullet.” The word “bullet” is the lone word on line 45, adding to its importance and dramatic effect. In an odd construction, the bullet stains the suit with the speaker’s blood. The suit is separate from the speaker, but dies with him, perhaps because the blood stain would render the suit useless.