THE SONG OF A FRAME.
Title:The Song of a Frame
Publication:The Blackburn Times
Date:February 6, 1864
Published towards the end of the Cotton Famine, when peace in the American Civil war was in sight, this poem is a reminder that textile work is largely repetitive and back-breaking. It is unclear whether the subject of this poem is working in a mill or domestic set-up, but the task of brushing cotton was one of the least skilled and therefore least well-paid jobs in the cotton weaving process. However, songs were often sung by textile workers to the rhythms of their machines in order to pass the time and maintain morale, and this poem appears to reflect that practice. – SR