Treasure Island

John Taylor

(24 August 1578 – 1653 / Gloucester, England)

The Prayse Of The Needle

To all dispersed sorts of arts and trades
I write the needles prayse (that never fades).
So long as children shall be got or borne,
So long as garments shall be made or worne,
So long as hemp or flax, or sheep shall bear
Their linen woolen fleeces yeare by yeare,
So long as silk-wormes, with exhausted spoile,
Of their own entrails for man's gaine shall toyle,
Yea till the world be quite dissolv'd and past,
So long at least, the needles' use shall last.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Sidi Mahtrow (3/6/2014 7:59:00 AM)

    The Needle

    Under the bed, her sewing box.
    Near the bottom, a shirt,
    Pressed and folded with a patch pinned
    Covering an elbow busted out from within.
    The shirt long ago had become too small
    But somehow it remained
    As a memory of something for us all.

    In the small cardboard box
    The tools of her trade,
    Scissor, measure, chalk,
    And of course; needles and thread.

    And she said, “Thread the needle for me.
    My eyes aren’t what they use to be.”

    Taking the white cotton thread,
    Casting off a bit with which to work
    Then with scissors trimming the end
    So that it could be shaped with wetted fingers.
    Until the thread, rolled til the end
    Was smooth and tapered round

    The chosen needle, held between
    The thumb and second finger in such a way
    That it could be rotated to catch the light of day
    In the needle’s eye.

    No camel or dromedary need apply
    To pass this way.
    Instead the thread is brought to bear
    And with gentle twisting find its way
    Through the eye.

    That which emerges from the other side,
    Is captured by the index finger
    Holding it against the needle
    To prevent its escape.

    With the other hand, a length is drawn
    To equal the amount that will be sewn.
    Snip off the allotted thread
    And sink the needle into the cushion

    It’s done and no other words spoken
    And even now silence fills the room.

    How I wish I could hear,
    Please thread the needle, dear.”

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