CECILIA VICUÑA, coTTon shirT
ecopoetics vol 1, page 111
Illuminating this poem are these words from the interview that follows:
JS: I was amazed to learn in reading Unraveling Words and the Weaving of Water (Graywolf Press, 1992) that cotton—I had never thought of this —that of course it’s the seed parachute, the seed transporter. I had never made that connection.
CV: Exactly, and for example, in this cotton mother poem, where I tell the story of how the people, the Kogi, think of cotton, they say the t-shirts that you buy in the shop are dead, you know, because the people who wove them didn’t think while they were weaving them, so they are dead, and they are cold. Instead, the cloth that they wear from the cotton they grow, is warm, and it’s warm because it has two sides: the inside is alive and the outside is dead.
Opening eyes to what around me is “alive” and what is “dead.” I certainly don’t think of my clothing as alive. Some of my food is alive.
Practically, it is tedious to shop. But seeking an article of clothing that is alive… that could be a different story.
In this way, poetry can inform your ways of life. But the pieces have to fall into place. If I read “coTTon shirT” without context, I would not have been able to follow this thread.
Related website: craftivist collective
Time to brush up on my crochet skills.