I Sit And Sew is a poem written by African American writer, Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson (1875–1935). It is about a woman who despises sitting and sewing while the men are out fighting a war.
I fell in love with this poem the moment I read it. It holds so much power and meaning of gender roles in just a few wonderfully written stanzas.
In case you don’t know, Alice was a feminist, often writing about and advocating for women’s rights. She wanted to be a journalist, but, since it was a male-dominated field, she struggled. She often expressed her feelings through writing.
There’s so much to analyze when looking into the gender roles of I Sit And Sew. Why is it that the women are sewing while the men are fighting? Why does the narrator feel that sewing is unimportant? Is it because it’s not as serious as fighting a war, or does she look down on the feminity of it?
Gender roles aside, the writing itself is beautiful. The first line immediately grabs your attention and her descriptions really paint an image in the brain. My favorite part, however, is the emotion. You could practically feel the woman’s emotion build up until you too just want to scream at the end. And as she describes the fire, deaths, and chaos of war…the frustration is understandable. She’s thinking, “You need me, obviously. So why am I not there?”
I’ve read this poem over and over again after the first time and fall in love with it every time. Five stars *****
Read I Sit And Sew here! What do you think of the writing or the meaning? How many stars would you give it? Tell me in the comments!
2 thoughts on “By Women of Color – I Sit And Sew by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson”
Wow…that is quite a powerful poem. I just read it. My short impression is that she finds sewing to be far less important than fighting on the battlefields. But I need to read it a few more times to fully “Get” a deeper meaning. Thank you for opening my eyes to this poem.
No problem! Reading it more than once is definitely needed to get a deeper meaning, so I highly recommend doing so. I probably read it quite a few times before I started really “getting” it.