While reading back through one of my usual blogs, I saw that the author had linked to this inane article. And while reading through the comments I happened upon a particular response. What is wonderful about the internet (sometimes) is how it opens up the opportunity to chase an idea down and learn more about it.
I was so moved by the poem, I had to hunt it down. In my search I found a number of interesting obituaries, biographies and tidbits of trivia and I finally found this page which reprints a letter from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Eliza Wright Osborne to admonish her for persisting in the unworthy endeavor of knitting and also the poem I enjoyed so much, which is Eliza's response.
And while you might enjoy chasing those links down as much as I did, I will also reprint the poem here so that you don't have to!
Dear Mrs. Stanton, in your skit
Against your sisterhood who knit,
Or useful make their fingers,
I wonder if,--deny it not,
The habit of Lucretia Mott
Within your memory lingers!
In retrospective vision bright,
Can you recall dear Martha Wright
Without her work or knitting?
The needles flying in her hands
On washing rags or baby's bands
Or other work as fitting?
I cannot think they thought the less,
Or ceased the company to bless
With conversation's riches,
Because they thus improved their time,
And never decreed it was a crime
To fill the hours' niches....
I could say more upon this head.
But must, before I go to bed,
Your idle precepts mocking,
Get out my needle and my yarn
And, caring not a single darn,
Just finish up this stocking
Eliza Wright Osborne