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Friday, April 10, 2015

Poetry Friday--Safety Pin

On April 10, 1849 a patent was issued to a tiny device that has saved many a person from a fashion disaster--the safety pin! How many times over the years have you had a snap or button suddenly decide it no longer wishes to be attached to your pants or skirt? Rather than leaving work and driving all the way home to change, a safety pin* is there to help. You can thank Walter Hunt, the man who was awarded the patent.

Patent 6281.jpg
Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

For many years, before the advent of disposable diapers, a safety pin was essential for keeping a diaper on a baby.

So, the lowly safety pin is worthy of a little poetic recognition, and poet Valerie Worth did just that!
safety pin

Closed, it sleeps
On its side
The silver
Of some
Small fish;

Opened, it snaps
Its tail out
Like a thin
Shrimp, and looks
At the sharp
Point with a
Surprised eye.

Found in A Jar of Tiny Stars: Poems by NCTE Award-Winning Poets (edited by Bernice E. Cullinan) [811.54 JAR].

Laura, at Writing the World for Kids, is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up today.

*I say "a safety pin is there," but that really depends on the workplace. In those places, which predominantly employ men, coming upon a safety pin may be near impossible. I've seen stapled pants hems and duct tape repairs.


  1. Oh! I l adore this and all of Valerie's Worth small poems. Am also very appreciated of Mr Hunt's efforts. Should be a household name.

    1. Worth's terse poems are a wonder!

  2. I have never read any of Valerie Worth's poetry, but this one was magnificent. When a poet takes a simple object and brings it to life, comparing the wonderful safety pin to a fish, one cannot help but wish I too could write that way. This sort of poetry reminds me of Neruda's ode to common things. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Look for a copy of All the Small Poems and Fourteen More. I guarantee you'll love it!

  3. Ah, that Valerie Worth. I just finally bought All the Small Poems and look forward to getting to know it better!

    1. They're like potato chips--you can't read just one. Enjoy!

  4. Yes, a favorite of Valerie's for me. Has her safety pin met Liz's paper clip?
    We were at the Cooper Hewitt in NYC this week looking at patent designs for things like the flexible straw and clothespins. I love tools.

    1. I've never been to the Cooper Hewitt. I'll add it to my list of places to visit. Thanks.