Thank you for a great review. Will be getting for gifts and myself!
Poems can reveal multiple layers of the past in ways that prose often fails to do. The recently publishedI Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery illustrates the particular power of the genre to shine a light on myriad aspects of people’s experiences.
Cynthia Grady, a quilter as well as the middle-school librarian at Sidwell Friends in Washington, D.C., has turned her poet’s eye to the past and presents a well-crafted collection of 14 poems for ages 10 and up.
Each poem, ranging from “Log Cabin” to “Basket,” is named for a traditional quilt pattern and employs ten lines of ten syllables, mimicking the square shape of a quilt block. In the process, the poems reflect the “patchwork of circumstances encountered by enslaved people in America,” as Grady notes in her preface. Beneath the poems, she provides brief, interesting notes that weave in relevant references to spirituality, music…
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