I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American SlaverySpring 2012 Poetry
In unrhymed verse, the poet Cynthia Grady explores the emotions of people who were enslaved in the American south. The ten-line, ten-syllable poems express the horrors of children sold away from mothers, the beatings, the fear experienced by runaway slaves. Other poems also express the calm of sewing, the brief happiness of children fishing, the enjoyment of making music. Beneath each touching poem is a half-page of explanatory history. The acrylic on canvas illustrations by Michele Wood are stylized and filled with complex designs reminiscent of quilting patterns. With blues, browns, and greens predominating, they are beautiful, original, and evocative.