While Takin’ A Wift o’ My Pipe.
Title:While Takin’ A Wift o’ My Pipe.
Date:January 24th 1861
Published just a few months before the outbreak of the American Civil War and the Cotton Famine, this verse by the famous Rochdale dialect poet Edwin Waugh proposes a popular ‘make do and mend’ philosophy in the face of hardship, suggesting that many of the differences between the experiences of wealth and poverty are down to perception. The speaker here is characteristic of a particular type common in Lancashire dialect poetry of the period, avuncular and contemplative, handing out pearls of wisdom. As eventually one of the most important journalistic chroniclers of the devastating effects of the Cotton Famine in subsequent years, Waugh’s attitude to poverty, and his poetic reaction to it, could be seen to shift considerably. See his ‘Home-Life of the Lancashire Factory Folk during the Cotton Famine’ of 1867: https://minorvictorianwriters.org.uk/waugh/b_cotton_famine.htm. – SR