My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

–Robert Frost

That’s my silent poetry reading, in celebration of the Feast of St. Brigid (though wasn’t that February 1?) and Groundhog Day. I read about the silent poetry in Anne’s blog entry yesterday.

Why did I pick that poem? Partly because it’s one I remember by heart without having to look it up. Partly because it’s short. (Conversely, I briefly considered posting “The Wasteland” in its entirety . . . but that would be wrong.) Partly because I love it. I love it because it’s about fleeting beauty and mortality and all that rot.

I remember very well where I first read that poem — it was quoted by a character in the book The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton, which I read when I was maybe 12 or 13 years old.

Wow. This is the first time I’ve really thought about poetry in ages. I was a literature major in undergrad and graduate school. Back in them thar days, I loved poetry and read it by the boatload.

Some poetry I like just because how the words sound together just makes me so freaking happy, like these lines plucked from e.e. cummings’ stuff:

anyone lived in a pretty how town
with up so floating many bells down.

Some poetry I like because of the vivid imagery, like Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro:”

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Some poetry I like for the sheer beauty of it, like Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan:”

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

et cetera. ๐Ÿ™‚

And some poetry I like just because it makes me feel so freaking sad, like these lines from Wordsworth’s “Ode: Intimations of Immortality:” [edited — I corrected the title when Lauren pointed out my error!)

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass,
of glory in the flower

So I’ve been thinking alot about poetry today.


Because I am warped, I suddenly remembered the above anthology that I purchased way back when: The Brand X Anthology of Poetry. I linked to the book on because there’s blessed little info about it on

If you love poetry and love a good parody, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Out of print, but it seems to be available at used book sellers online at a decent price.

Too bad I didn’t know about it when I was an insufferable, pedantic undergraduate. But no doubt I wouldn’t have appreciated it as much as I did (and do) later.

Oh . . . You Came Here For Knitting, Right?

I’m getting close to the point where I will do a steek for the back neck shaping. Woot! Woot! Woot! I am cautiously predicting that I will be done with the body of Rose by the end of the weekend.


Assuming I don’t get caught up in spinning like I did last weekend.

Again, thank you so much for all your kind comments about Rose. A number of you have asked if I’m going to make the pattern available. The answer is probably yes . . . eventually.

Because Snow Asked

Snow commented:
Can I ask a technical question, Wendy? Ostensibly, we’ll say I’m asking it about Rose, since that’s more pertinent to your current knitting, but in truth this is about my Torino sweater you made me knit.
The Dale pattern wants me to knit back and forth for the neck shaping. I don’t want to. Not at all. Can I steek across the neck and wind up with a weirdly shaped but steekable object? And how many stitches would I want to insert for that? Or should I just suck it up and knit back and forth for the neck shaping?

Dearest Snow, check out this blog entry I wrote about doing the neck decreases for St. Moritz. You’ll have to fudge a bit on the shaping, but it is do-able!

Lucy Sez

I got Teal Hogget’s back! Ha!



  1. Oh. My.

    I was totally into “The Outsiders” when I was in the 8th grade, I think I checked it out of the library every week. Robert Frost’s poem was the first I ever committed to memory, so (of course) I posted it on my blog too.

    Re:Rose…are you doing steeks for the armholes, too? If you are, can we have a peek? If not steeks for the armholes, what?

  2. Lovely poetry – thanks for the great read. And Rose and Lucy/Teal Hogget are lookin’ good.

  3. Wendy,

    First off – Rose really is remarkable. Second – This is the second time today I have read about “steeking” Pardon my ignorance but what is this??


  4. Ah, fair Lucy! She’s a poem by herself.

    My favorite poem? “Some Keep the Sabbath” by the Belle of Amherst (about 35 miles from me). For some reason it really pis*es the minister off whenever I recite it at the end of Church Year poetry reading… (I always look at him when I say this line “God preaches, a noble clergyman/ And the sermon is never long”)

  5. That picture of Rose reminds me of lace…

  6. That Wordsworth poem is my favorite and is actually called Ode: Intimations of Immortality.

  7. Lovely poems, all of them. I am another who loved “The Outsiders” … I remember how cool I thought it was when I found out that S.E. Hinton was a girl.

  8. Wendy, I had no idea you were a lit-wit. I was a lit major undergrad, left it for the law, and am now back in grad school taking lit again — I love it so! In fact, I should be studying right now (Milton this term). Thanks for the pleasant diversion!

  9. I read The Outsiders countless times not long after it was first published (showing my age.) And not only was it cool to discover S. E. Hinton was a girl, but she was only 17 when she wrote it.

  10. Knitting is tactile poetry to me. Senses engaged, sometimes a small, perfect, motif, done for the experience more than the product.

    I note your references are to older poems. With you wit, I think you’d like some of the recent things by Billy Collins or Mary Oliver. Collins especially is a hoot and captures the moment exquisitely.

  11. Now you’ve made me buy an out-of-print book for my kid who is a double major: English lit and foreign relations. You have a strange affect on my buying habits.

    Thank you so much for the encouragement to do a neck steek, Wendy! I’m going to give it a shot. How many steek stitches do you think I should stick in there? I’m thinking four or five.

  12. oh, I SO need the parody anthology. Off I go to, my dealer.

    Lovely poetry entry, sugar!

  13. I thought of the Outsiders the second I saw your post. That was my favorite book then movie growing up. I must have read that book 100 times or more. As for the movie I still watch it over and over.

  14. Me, too. I immediately thought of the Outsiders, too, because yes, I memorized it out of that book in 6th grade. I’ve always liked that one.

  15. Another fun book of poetry you might enjoy is The Holy Tango of Literature by by Francis Heaney. His hook: Take a famous author and anagram his name into a title. Then write a parody piece with that title. You can sample it online at

    Good stuff. And spot on.

  16. Happy Almost Friday, Wendy! One of my faves in the realm of poetry is Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky:

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    Happy Weekending!

  17. Thanks for the lovely poetry interlude. The Frost poem is a fitting sentiment for the Feast of St. Brigid. You said, “though wasn’t that February 1?” and the answer is “sort of.” Celtic holidays (so I’ve been told) begin in the evening, so St. Brigid’s day would begin on the evening of February 1 and go through to the evening of February 2.

    Lucy looks quite ecstatic about the teal hogget.

  18. I loved the poetry bits. Thanks for reminding me of the e.e. cummings one especially. I, too, was lit major for undergrad (but changed to something more employable for grad school). Anyway, thanks for the memories!

  19. I still know that Frost poem by heart *because* I used to love the Outsiders so much!

  20. My favorite poem is by Stevenson, Requiem. I can still recite it.
    I also find that I sometime love poetry more for the sound of the words than what they are saying, love the meter, the flow of the words. Anything from Wordsworth to Ogden Nash.

  21. nicole /sweden says:

    whispers of the old waste land in it’s entirety… how can this cheer me up?


  22. What are you going to be knitting during superbowl game?

  23. It never ceases to amaze me when I am reading one of my favorite blogs to realize that I have a lot more in common with the writer than just knitting. As soon as I read the first two words or so of the Frost poem, The Outsiders (which was one of my favorites, too) popped right into my mind. Then to find out you were a lit major in undergrad and graduate school, I couldn’t believe it since I am an English Professor. In fact, I have to teach some African American Poetry later today. My students don’t love it as much as you do; can you give me some tips to get them more into it? ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Ha…Here’s another one that immediately thought of Ralph Macchio/C. Thomas Howell and my beloved worn out dog eared copy of “The Outsiders.” Nothing gold can stay Ponyboy…Stay Gold Ponyboy,stay gold.

    BTW, As per your comment this morning…I got my haircut at Celadon, but not by your guy (Garland?). Maybe I would have been more impressed if I waited another month for him! Then again, I was having one of those…”It must be cut NOW, moments!

  25. The Outsiders! How wonderful to read that so many people still love it. I am currently teaching the book to my 8th graders and they are also entranced by it. We will also be memorizing the poem and I hope that in the future they are still as fond of it as so many of you are!

  26. What a lovely interlude today. Much appreciated. I’ve been really enjoying Billy Collins lately; I enjoy his wit. And Lucy and Teal Hogget… well… a symphony of angles and lines there!

  27. We’re the same, um, age…did you have to memorize the first 34 lines of The Canterbury Tales in Middle English? That was pretty typical in my time. We had to recite it from memory in order to pass the class. Because I was strange and contrary, I got mad because I was not allowed to memorize my FAVORITE poem from that class, “The Wanderer”. I still remember both, 25 years later.
    “Oft to the Wanderer, weary of exile
    Cometh God’s pity, compassion love.
    Thought woefully toiling on wintery seas,
    With churning oar in icy wave,
    Homeless and helpless, he fled from fate…”

    Poetry by heart is A Good Thing.

  28. The Outsiders was the first movie I saw in a theater – at full price! It was filmed here in my hometown (Tulsa) as was Tex and Rumblefish (other SE Hinton books). I love watching/reading the Outsiders because it feels so much like real history to me – I KNOW the places its describing. I gave birth in the same hospital the boys were in for burn-treatments! I go to the same drive-in movie every summer!

  29. That is one of my all time favorits poems. It always reminds me of my great granmother. Thanks for the memory.

  30. Lovely entry!

    Made me sit back and think of some of my favorite poems and I surprised myself by remembering quite a few of them without having to look them up.

  31. Don’t you just love when your kitty rubs itself against your projects. I’m always nervous that someone i give a project to is going to be allergic to cats.

    As for the poetry, I can appreciate it but I could never really get into it. Its wild because I’m involved in so many other types of arts . . . just not poetry.

  32. moody knitter says:

    I love Kubla Khan. It is where the movie “Xanadu” with Olivia Newton John got its name. I memorized that poem when I was like 8!! Classic!!
    I didn’t think that very many people knew it. Cool!

  33. Yeah, I loved The Outsiders too. This poem really spoke to me as a young person. I too was a Lit major, and loved ee cumings, etc. all those you mentioned. I get too busy to think of reading poetry, thanks for reminding me. I’ll go pick up a volume and enjoy!

  34. Thanks for the lovely entry. It’s always exiciting to see another facet in a person. It has also inspired me to pick up some of my poetry books that have been sitting neglected on the shelf. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. Rose is looking so wonderful. Thanks for the poetry. My kids need to be introduced to ee cummings and Robert Frost. And Jabberwocky.

  36. Funny…pictures of the teal hogget make me want to roll in it, too. ๐Ÿ˜€

  37. At the Dawn of Groundhog Day

    Cold wind kisses my face,
    as I step along the gravel way
    Cries are heard, I quicken my pace,
    The morning brightens,I see her lay.
    At this dawn on this day,
    She chooses to birth her little babe.
    His hooves she counts, his head she cleans,
    Her little buck wiggles to a stand
    as the sun’s rays beam.
    He finds his breakfast as she stands still.
    A name for him? why-it must be Phil!

    ok-a very choppy poem for how I spent my Ground Hog Dawn-witnessing the birth of #6 goat. No place I would have rather been. A very poetic moment brought to me by my goat Jenny!
    Thanks for the inspiration Wendy!

  38. Just because we come for the knitting doesn’t mean we aren’t glad for the poetry as well… thanks.

  39. I love that Pound poem. For all the kitty people here, I highly recommend “Yowl: Selected Poems About Cats.”

  40. yet another Melissa says:

    How perfectly Wendy that you love the Brand-X anthology. I’ve still got mine! And there’s a new parody anth that came out this year or last — “The Satanic Nurses.” Need I say more?

  41. What a wonderful entry for a rainy day in February:-)
    Here is my contribution (remembered from a childhood book)I don’t remember the author

    The rider is fat
    as that ()
    or wider ( )
    In torso of course,
    the horse
    is more so ( )

  42. Hi Wendy,
    If you like poetry and prose, you MUST get the book “1000 Beautiful Things” which is full of all kinds of readings. I actually gave a copy to each of my attendants as part of their wedding thank yous. And if you are interested, drop me an email and I will see about getting you one.


  1. Almost there….

    These amazing internets are a glorious toy, are they not? I posed my neck-steeking issue to the All-Knowing and All-Powerful Wendy in her comment section to this post, and she has replied in this one! I quizzed her further and she very g…