Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"Lacemakers of Old"

"The Lace Makers" 1885 by Robert Frederick Blum
Lacemakers of Old

Plain, often lauded
as steady & true,

more often bows
to flourish & desire -

A straight stitch,
simple & steadfast

fades beside a peasant's
delicate rosettes, tissue thin

twists & plaits, under, over,
left, right, slipped, pulled.

Declared priceless
yet a pittance delivered

to bleary eyes & weary palm
of its creator.

by Margaret Bednar, May 7, 2014

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Bits of Inspiration - Lace" hosted by Susie Clevenger.  I never knew lace had such a "dark" history - hop on over to the above link and read all about it.

Other art by Robert Frederick Blum HERE

17 comments:

Brian Miller said...

its funny, my initial thought was of doilies? we still have some from generations back that my mom pulls out for holidays.

Susie Clevenger said...

It is so sad such beauty only received a paycheck of pittance and pain. You have communicated this so well in your piece by giving honor to these talented female artisans. Thanks for writing!

TexWisGirl said...

sweat shops all thru history.

ccchampagne said...

As always this is really well written and delivers a true and very sad message.

Kerry O'Connor said...

There exists such an inequality between the manufacturer and the retailer, even today, I think of women and children in Asia and India, sewing beads onto material for the beautiful garments and being exploited and paid a pittance. It is a terrible shame.

Kathryn said...

When you think about the amount of work that goes into making lace it's crazy to think of the pittance they received for their efforts.

Jim said...

Margaret, you have aptly put feeling into realizing the cost of the beautify commodity (the lace). Not necessarily in dollars but in the health and welfare of those workers.

Worse still is the use of child labor that still goes on in our world today. They are treated as being expendable.
..

Sumana Roy said...

a very poignant write on a dark past
....

Laurie Kolp said...

Loved this, Margaret!

Mama Zen said...

Well done! You did a beautiful job of contrasting the beauty of the lace with the dreary life of its creator.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Love the "simple and steadfast" stitches.....I cant imagine a life so harsh. You have captured it well.

Helen said...

You told the story well .. making me wish I hadn't been so flip ~ I need to sit down and write another!

signed...bkm said...

Yes the delicate work that went into this art - you describe it well...i fear i would have failed at it..thankful for those who did not...bkm

Grace said...

You have captured the sad plight of these lovely lace makers ~ Priceless work for a pittance, I agree ~

Lolamouse said...

You've expressed the dark history of lace so well. I never of it until this prompt either!

Susan said...

How to make beauty and then to make beauty of the effort of beauty making--fine, fine poem.

razzamadazzle said...

It amazes me how they could make something so beautiful for such a small amount of pay in horrible conditions. Beautifully written.