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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Knitter

by Franklin Habit (with apologies to Wallace Stevens and his blackbird)

I.

Among twenty piles of dirty laundry,
The only moving things
Were the hands of the knitter.
I

II.

I was of three minds
Like a yarn store
In which there are three knitters.
II

III.

The knitter stitched in the autumn winds.
She was a small part of the tangle.
III

IV.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a knitter
Are one,
And have warm hats.
IV

V.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of yarn,
Or the beauty of sweaters.
The knitter clicking,
Or just after.
V

VI.

The cat filled the long room
With barbaric yowls.
The yarn of the knitter
Crossed it, to and fro.
The pattern
Traced in the yarn
An indecipherable lace.
VI

VII.

O thin men of Manhattan,
Why do you imagine Irish cottages?
Do you not see how the knitter
Twists her perfect cables
In the coffee shop below?
VII

VIII.

I know serene attitudes
And nimble, enchanting rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the knitter is involved
In what I know.
VIII

IX.

When the knitter finished the cuff,
He marked the edge
Of one of many circles.
IX

X.

At the sight of knitters
Knitting on a green sofa,
Even the prey of allergies
Would ask for mittens.
X

XI.

He rode through Canada
In a hackney carriage.
Once, a fear pierced him.
In that he mistook
The shadow of his limousine
For a pack of knitters.
XI

XII.

The leaves are falling.
The knitter must be knitting.
XII

XIII.

It was winter all summer.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The knitter sat
In his favorite chair.
XIII


ILLUSTRATIONS XXXX F. HABIT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. UNAUTHORIZED USE PROHIBITED

 


Franklin Habit is a photographer, illustrator, knitter, and author of It Itches, a Stash of Knitting Cartoons. His blog, The Panopticon, and his travels collecting images for his 1000 Knitters Project keeps life in his little corner of the internet, in stitches.