I am glad to be joining the Poetry Friday community this week, hosted by the inspiring Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference. We have just recently launched our reading theme until the first week of September.
I am particularly happy with some of my library finds on how poetry is used as the voice for peace, as seen in this beautiful book by Anna Grossnickle Hines.
There are a total of 28 poems in this amazing collection, all perfectly matched with Hines’ painstakingly-meticulous quilts that are lovingly handcrafted. In each full-spread page of the quilt/artwork, the reader is immersed in patches of colours, circles of hope, and whispers of connectedness, hope, and deliverance. Reading each poem is like a gift: a tasty creamy crumbly bread that melts in the mouth, a heavy well-worn blanket that wards off the biting cold, ten thousand shades of fairy gold and elfin silver that leave trails of light and love.
From the very first poem that sings about how peace is Making an Entrance, one already ponders about the various ways through which peace filters into our consciousness, the doors of our home, the windows of our offices – evident as well in the poems An Invitation and Where I Live.
The poems do not just speak about full-scale conflicts among countries, they also touch on disagreements among siblings (as seen in Sure Cure), or among friends in the playground (What Would You Choose?) or even the battle that occurs within one’s self (Calming the Busy Brain). I was especially taken by the lines on how the spirit of forgiveness brings a lightness to one’s being (Weightless), and the striking black and white pieces (with slices of red or hints of blues) that echo the connectedness among people and how fear can cause anxiety and a standoff among people (also seen in the poem Dominoes).
The back matter of the book is amazingly-detailed with pertinent biographical information on The Peacemakers included in the poem Big Shoes, which includes famous people such as Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, and two children who have made a huge difference in the world. I also read avidly Hines’ description of her creative process and what this project means to her. I found out that she is a member of the Pacific Piecemakeres Quilt Guild that has 110 members as of the date of this publication (2011). She noted:
Creating these poems and quilts has been a meaningful journey, giving me an opportunity to explore ideas and ideals close to my heart. I have not been alone on this journey. While writing the poems, I was supported and encouraged by some of my writing friends. We challenged ourselves to write a poem every day, and I chose peace as a theme.
This is a beautiful picturebook in verse that deserves a spot on every book shelf everywhere in the world. For my Poetry Friday offering, I chose this very short, simple, yet powerful poem by Hines:
Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts about Peace by Anna Grossnickle Hines. Published by Henry Holt & Company, 2011. Book borrowed from the NIE Library. Book photos taken by me.