Welcome to The Phoenix Files!

This blog is a collection of papers and how-to articles I have written, as well as my travel journals and general announcements. Scholarly works from "The Library" on my old website, are labeled here as "Historica Tractatu." 

My travels have had heavy influence on my work and are the 'back story' behind many of my designs. Some of my older journals are revised from the original, and most link to photo albums on Facebook.  

Textile as Literary Art

A few days ago, I saw a call for submissions for Cloth -- a commonplace which asked for "a literary fragment from your reading that refers to cloth in some way."   You can read more about this project at this link. 

Once upon a time, I wrote poetry.  I never published, and did not keep most of my pieces.  While I was looking for a piece to submit to this project, I found this one in my files, which I wrote 29 years ago, on the eve of the Feast of St. Patrick. 

It is an excerpt from "Letters to a Squire" and describes clothing that might be worn by a Mongolian king or khan. I took my inspiration from a verse from Chaucer's "The Squire's Tale" which is quoted at the beginning of my piece.

Letters to a Squire --- 

"...This noble Cambuskan of whom I told,
Sat on his dais in a royal robe.
High on his throne with diadem and globe,
And there held feast in all his power enfurled,
And there was nothing like it in the world..."
          ...So Chaucer wrote in "Squire's Tale"

You too shall hold, orb and sceptre.
The jeweled crown, Lion's banner,
and cloak and throne, as King you'll own;
and dress you in this royal manner:

A pair of boots of leather fine,
embroidered 'round with silvered vine
and gilded leaf.  Both bird and beast
in silk thread chased, shall lay entwined.

Linen pants, and a sable hat,
and collar worked both front and back -- 
(will e'en impress the Emperess!)
--no stitches missed, nor detail lack.

The softest shirt of loomed sea-mist:
luminous pale, no color fixed
but none denied.  Moonbeams will hide
on cuff and hem in Peking Stitch.

On fur-lined coat of silk brocade,
auspicious signs are overlaid
and intertwined.  Round it will bind
nine plaques of rare white girdle-jade...

Comment please ...