Should anyone ever decide to compile an anthology of poems that take laundry as their subject, they may wish to consider the following two poems. First, from Andrew Young:
The Shepherd's Hut
The smear of blue peat smoke
That staggered on the wind and broke,
The only sign of life,
Where was the shepherd's wife,
Who left those flapping clothes to dry,
Taking no thought for her family?
For, as they bellied out
And limbs took shape and waved about,
I thought, She little knows
That ghosts are trying on her children's clothes.
And, from Edward Thomas, a few lines from "Up in the Wind":
But no one's moved the wood from off the hill
There at the back, although it makes a noise
When the wind blows, as if a train were running
The other side, a train that never stops
Or ends. And the linen crackles on the line
Like a wood fire rising.
Thomas wrote "Up in the Wind" in December of 1914. One of his field notebooks contains this entry for November 27, 1914: "Clothes on the line violently blowing in wind crackle like a rising woodfire."