In honor of National Quilting Day today, we hope you will enjoy Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem “The Quilting,” published in Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow (1901).
Dolly sits a-quilting by her mother, stitch by stitch,
Gracious, how my pulses throb, how my fingers itch,
While I note her dainty waist and her slender hand,
As she matches this and that, she stitches strand by strand.
And I long to tell her Life’s a quilt and I’m a patch;
Love will do the stitching if she’ll only be my match.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1872, Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of the first African American literary figures to garner critical acclaim on a national scale. He died in 1906 and is buried in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton. You can still visit his home, the Dunbar House. For more information about Dunbar and his poetry, please visit our Paul Laurence Dunbar page.