Tapestry: A poem from the past

From my senior year English journal, one of the poems I wrote, which seems appropriate because of my previous post about my needlepoint canvas. Although I never gave it a title, I do now. It is as follows:


life is a tapestry

part planned, part not

some of it orderly

some of it, not.


part of life is stitched

part of it readable

part of it blank,

vague, undecipherable.


everyone has a tapestry

everyone must stitch it,

stitch by stitch

the same stitches are ripped out,

bit by bit.


i stitch my canvas every day

hoping to add the right stitches,

taking out what may

be wrong, and trying to make my

tapestry, my life, turn out the right way.

Nancy Brady, April 1973

Some background: Mrs. Callahan, our class’s senior English literature teacher, required us to write a journal entry every week throughout the second semester. (The idea of this was based on some English writer who wrote a journal; I don’t remember now who it was.)  She left it open-ended in that we could write whatever we wanted. If we wanted to make it a diary, we could. Short stories, poems, rants, you-name-it ruled the day. On Friday, though, it had to be handed in to her for grading. I know when she assigned it to us, many of the class groaned. There were weeks when I was writing something, anything hurriedly to turn in; other times, the words seemed to flow. As such, my journal was all over the place, too.

In retrospect, for me, this was transformative. While I had written a few poems previously, I rarely shared them with anyone. Now, weekly, I got feedback from her. Sometimes it was just a check mark to indicate she had read it, but most times, there was a comment about my writing. Her comments were really affirming, and I have never stopped writing. I suspect that other classmates may have been similarly affected (Kevin, are you editing your memoir?). It is only in the last couple years that I realize that she had to read not only my rambling* every week, but everyone’s in our class. Granted, we were a relatively small class of eighty-one students, but still to have read and commented on each person’s writing week after week. Wow!

* I was in an e.e. cummings mode during this time; I never capitalized anything (hence no capitals in the above poem), and I am sure that drove her crazy.



About pedometergeek

A pharmacist by profession, a haiku poet by nature, I read and write. I have a book of haiku, Ohayo Haiku, and another somewhat alternative haiku book, Three Breaths, but write other genres. I also read...lots of novels! My favorite is, and remains, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged but I am also a big Harry Potter fan. I truly am a pedometer geek strapping on my pedometer as soon as I awaken.
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