[Poetry Friday] Anna Grossnickle Hines’ Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts about Peace

poetry friday

Myra here.

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.

Super special thanks to Iphigene for creating this visually-arresting widget!

Super special thanks to Iphigene for creating this visually-arresting widget!

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.

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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.

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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).

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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:

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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.

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Reading Challenge Update: 146 (25)

10 Comments on [Poetry Friday] Anna Grossnickle Hines’ Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts about Peace

  1. Irene Latham // July 18, 2014 at 10:31 am // Reply

    It’s a beautiful book — I received it as a gift and think it is so gorgeous and inspiring! Thank you for sharing about it here. xo

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  2. Anna Grossnickle Hines’ books are so beautiful! She takes such care in their making.

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  3. So beautiful, powerful, and appropriate for this week. I don’t have this book, but I have some of Anna Grossnickle Hines’s books and was lucky enough to be in a workshop she led years ago at SCBWI in LA. Thanks for sharing, and I love your description: “ten thousand shades of fairy gold and elfin silver that leave trails of light and love.”

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  4. Myra, thank you for sharing this beautiful book. It certainly is a must find, a must read, and a must share. What a journey Hines has taken in this!

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  5. This looks beautiful. I’ll have to find it!

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  6. Myra, your thoughts on the book, “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.” were a poetic tribute to the author-so beautifully stated that I am eager to pick up a copy. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. maryleehahn // July 19, 2014 at 8:17 am // Reply

    What a nice contrast to my post on war! This looks like a gorgeous book I’ll want to look at up close and personal!

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  8. Keri Collins Lewis // July 20, 2014 at 1:16 am // Reply

    I’m curious to learn more about the author/artist, as she combines two of my favorite creative endeavors: poetry and quilting! I love the poem you selected, and the perfect timing of your post.

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  9. What perfect timing for your new theme, Myra, and this book is needed more than ever. It’s beautiful. I’m excited to have a closer look.

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  10. I love, love, love this book. A couple of years ago, when I taught fourth grade, we used the Dominoes poem (I can’t remember the title, but it says something like, We are all connected one to another to another… such that whatever happens to one of us, happens to all of us) as our class theme for the year.

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