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Shamus

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2020.06.02 13:48

Song of the Shirt by Thomas Hood.

Part 6 of 6.

With fingers

weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread—
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,—
Would that its tone could reach the Rich!—
She sang this "Song of the Shirt!"
70 8

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Comments

  • Shamus 2020.06.02 13:49

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    The following information about this poem is from Wikipedia: It was written in honour of a Mrs. Biddell, a widow and seamstress living in wretched conditions. In what was, at that time, common practice, Mrs. Biddell sewed trousers and shirts in her home using materials given to her by her employer for which she was forced to give a £2 deposit. In a desperate attempt to feed her starving infants, Mrs. Biddell pawned the clothing she had made, thus accruing a debt she could not pay. Mrs. Biddell, whose first name has not been recorded, was sent to a workhouse, and her ultimate fate is unknown; however, her story became a catalyst for those who actively opposed the wretched conditions of England’s working poor, who often spent seven days a week labouring under inhumane conditions, barely managing to survive and with no prospect for relief. Thank you for listening. 🙏💔
  • May 2020.06.02 13:54

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    British accent
  • 穆诗晴 2020.06.02 14:30

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    Could you help me to correct my pronunciation.
  • Rosalina 2020.06.02 15:57

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    🤩
  • Lydia 2020.06.02 16:12

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    Thanks a lot! Could you kindly explain, why "It was written in honor of A Mrs. Biddell,..."? My question is about the article "a" in this context. It's the second time I encounter something like this (the first one was in "Pride and Prejudice"). But I can't understand the logic, as in both texts this "a" is applied only when a person is mentioned the very first time, and it will be just "Mrs. Biddell" (no "a" afterwards). Is it sort of a rule?
  • Shamus 2020.06.02 16:29

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    @Lydia Good question! It's kind of a classical way to refer to someone. And you might be right about it being removed after the first mention because after that the person is familiar. I suppose it can be looked at as a way of introducing someone who is a stranger. They wouldn't write Mrs. Biddel because you don't know who that is, but "a" Mrs. Biddel tells you that there is someone new being spoken about here. Those are just my thoughts. I don't know the real answer. 😉
  • Lydia 2020.06.02 17:03

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    @Shamus Thanks for your input! I believe your guess is correct, as basing on what I've seen in "Pride and Prejudice", the logic was the same: "a" was added only the first time a person was mentioned. Although, to be honest, when I saw it there I was nearly shocked. 😂 It's like you were living your whole life according to Newton laws, and now you're looking at E=mc² and trying to understand what the heck it is. 😵
  • Lena 2020.06.02 17:22

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    DE

    How many mistakes. What is plying ?

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