This week I parcelled up and sent off a quilt. For the description of the contents I used the word “drapery”, to make the contents sound boring in case a would-be-thief in the sorting room was tempted by the thought of a warm quilt in these winter days.
Then I mused on the oddness of that word. My grandmother always used it on her annual Christmas parcel, sent through the post in brown paper and containing items of clothing as gifts for the family. She grew up in Victorian times, and the word “drapery” does have a feel of dark, cluttered, Dickensian rooms.
I have just checked in volume one of my trusted New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary and I did not lie when I wrote that the parcel with the quilt contained drapery, for the word is defined as “cloth, fabrics”. And from the late 17th century drapery was used for cloth that draped in hangings, clothing and curtains. (Do any fabric shops still describe themselves as Drapers, I wonder.)
This idle musing on the word drapery is a ploy to introduce my intention to post a poem every fortnight, starting today.
A while ago I wrote a set of poems about quilts I had made. The manuscript has been sitting in a desk drawer (actually a folder in my computer) for the past six years. Thanks to a prompt from a friend and fellow blogger (africadayz.wordpress.com) I have decided to air the poems, along with a photograph of the corresponding quilt. They will appear alphabetically by title, so the first will be A Full Bed of Roses. This happens to be my favourite quilt, which is why it also appears on the opening screen of my blog.