Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I read a poem this morning about the drudgery of the poor. This poem speaks of a woman who works making clothing and her thoughts as she continues sewing in fatigue and boredom. I won’t quote the entire poem for it is lengthy, but I think you will be moved by the stanzas I include.

The Song of the Shirt
Thomas Hood

“Work – work – work!
Till the eyes are heavy and dim!
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Band and gusset, and seam,
Till over the buttons I fall asleep,
And sew them on in a dream.

“O men, with sisters dear!
O men with mothers and wives,
It is not linen you’re wearing out!
But human creature’s lives!
Stitch – stitch – stitch!
In poverty, hunger and dirt;
Sewing at once, with a double thread,
A shroud as well as a shirt.

“But why do I talk of Death?
That phantom of grisly bone;
I hardly fear its terrible shape,
It seems so like my own.
It seems so like my own,
Because of the fasts I keep;
O God! That bread should be so dear,
And flesh and blood so cheap!

“Work – work – work!
My labor never flags;
And what are its wages? A bed of straw,
A crust of bread and rags.
That shattered roof – and this naked floor,
A table – a broken chair;
And a wall so blank, my shadow I thank
For sometimes falling there!

“Oh, but to breathe the breath
of the cowslip and primrose sweet –
With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet;
For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel,
Before I knew the woes of want,
And the walk that costs a meal!”
Photo by Stephen Buhagiar


Mel said...

It's a sad poem, but well written. Obviously, this woman's mind and heart were at work even in the midst of her drudgery. It sucks to be poor, but Jesus said blessed are the poor. So someday this lady will be content beyond her wildest imaginations... She probably already is.

God bless you, Fred! :)

FCB said...

Hi Mel,
Yes, it is a sad poem, but I think the author really caught the spirit of poverty. It caused me to stop and pause over many lines.
We have it so good that it is so easy to lose sight of those who have nothing but the bare essentials.
Some of my biggest frustrations are computer problems, actually not, but I must have left mine out in the cold because it caught another virus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, back to the repair man it goes tonight. I don't know if I'll get it back before the fourth when I go on a weeks vacation, YIPPIE!!!
If it isn't repaired until I get back I should have lots to share.
God bless,

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred:)

Poverty is such a terrible thing. It is heart wrenching to read how poor people suffer. They work much, much harder than us for a pittance. Sad state of affairs.

Sometimes poverty robs people of their dignity. They are exploited. Overworked and underpaid. They live is perpetual misery and suffering. Well, I can go on and on -----

Hence the need to eliminate poverty. Each one us should do what we can to eradicate this malady facing mankind.

I hope you will be able to sort out your computer problem fast.

Best wishes and happy holiday:)