Saturday, November 25, 2006

Beginner's Quilt by Geoffrey Philp

Recently I stumbled onto the poetry of Miami, FL poet, Geoffrey Philp and was heartwarmed by his Thanksgiving offering. Geoffrey has published Twelve Poems and A Story for Christmas, and the thriller, Benjamin, My Son. You know me, I had to ask if he'd composed any poems about quilting, quilts or quiltmakers. He had not. Then, to my utter surprise, a second email arrived hours later .... the poem below, composed yesterday about his mother and uncle. Thank you for sharing your words with us Geoffrey!
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Beginner's Quilt by Geoffrey Philp
(for Kyra)

When my mother began this quilt,
she started with the Roman Stripe,
the simplest pattern, so she could learn
to embroider even the most difficult fabrics:
my grandmother's torn comforter,
a shirt she starched and ironed over coals
for her brother's interview in Bethel Town
before he drowned, pieces
that had been abandoned
on the scrapheap, behind the dumpster,
the ones no one wanted
and weren't from the same color family,
for she could only see shades of light,
medium, and dark which she measured,
folded, and stitched into her tapestry of love.


Geoffrey Philp said...

Dear Kyra,
Thank you for this and your kindness.


Ruth said...


Wanted to thank you for stopping by our blog! My mom (Annette, who also writes some posts) made the quilt that you admired: she's flattered that you like it.

We enjoy your page!

Deborah said...

what sweet and melancholy for the morning. It's a joy reading your blog. Thanks Black Purls for helping me to find you!

Elle said...

How nice of him to create one! It's so touching. Sometimes you have to remember the energy and love and sometimes, loss, that we put into our pieces.