Washing Lines, A Collection of Poems
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I thought I would share a collection of a rather different type to mine. It is an anthology with beautiful woodcut illustrations by my good friend Barbara and her chum Janie. I am quoting the girls here as I could not improve on this! “Born of a shared love of washing lines and poetry, the subject of this anthology is laundry and washing reflecting many human emotions to do with family, relationships and memory.”
Until I read this lovely book and thought about it a little more, I had not realised that I hang washing on a line and love to see it blow in the breeze and smell so good when it comes in again. I was also unaware that there are parts of the UK and the USA where it is against the law to hang out washing.
This book is very pretty and certainly has a calming effect. The illustrations are elegant and detailed and make you smile.
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The story of this little treasure
For over the last 30 years Bill and I have been members of a wine tasting circle, sadly now known as Mr Boozy, and 12 of us get together once a month to taste wines from around the world. We are a motley crew with two GPs, a judge, a plants woman, accountant, language teacher, beautician, computer geek, social worker and company director all part of this jolly band.
We really do know each other very well and rarely surprise each other. So, it was of great interest when Barbara McNaught revealed that she is also a finder of treasures – she announced that she and a chum had collected poems, writings and wood cut drawings all about Washing Lines!
Since that time Barbara and Janie Hextall have published four of these delightful books under the banner of Lautus Press and I have three of these for you in my Treasures. I’ll let Barbara tell you how it all came about:
“We both love poetry and belong to an informal poetry group where the host chooses the subject for the evening. I chose ‘Laundry’ and was amazed to discover that Janie shared my obsession with washing lines! We started to exchange any poems that we discovered on the laundry subject and were truly astounded by the quantity, and the quality of what we were finding; by how many well-known poets had written about washing, ironing, pegging out, and how much the poems touched on memories and emotions. The collection was so exciting that the idea of making it into a book was born. I had already started to collect wood engravings on the washing line theme, and we had great pleasure in finding more illustrations and pairing the poems and the pictures together.
“The whole process was a learning curve, but such an enjoyable one, and in the process Janie and I have become the best of friends. In fact, we didn’t want to stop, particularly since Washing Lines was an instant success and literally ran off the shelves and continues so to do this day. We just had to follow it with other collections about our shared passions. They all follow the same design with poems and black and white illustrations, mainly wood engravings. And Lautus Press? Is the past participle of the Latin verb ‘lavo- to wash’ meaning washed/clean. A nice little joke for us…”