Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Lost Art

google image

Dear Pen,
For years and years,
I wrote my daily life into letters:
to my mother,
to my friends,
to my grandma
and, a week or so later,
through my letter slot
poured letters fat and juicy
in return.

With what delight and anticipation
I opened them,
and relished the lives
penned within.

Now letter writing
is a lost art,
replaced by emails
which, once read,
go into the delete folder,
instantly forgotten,
not cherished, wrapped in ribbon,
saved in keepsake boxes.

Today on the news,
it was announced that soon 
a single stamp
will cost a dollar in Canada.
And home mail delivery will be phased out
and replaced by community lock boxes.

It is the end of an era,
and a sad commentary
on just how effectively 
corporate thinking
has increased the cost of life
for those of us at the bottom
in order to maintain the wealth
of those at the top.

Now we watch
our simple pleasures,
one by one,
fade away
into a past which looks,
in comparison,
ever more golden.

Kim's prompt at Verse First is A Lost Art. I wasnt sure what I would write until I heard the noon news. Sigh. I remember all those letters, a steady stream of them, daily, back and forth to my mother and my friend, also a writer, as we raised our kids together and shared our journey as young moms. I wish I had saved them, now. What a treasure trove they would be! History regained. 

I was not able to manage a rhyme scheme. My head is Jello this week!!


  1. Your poem covers it all, what was bliss-like down to the final straw, who loses and who gains. It's hard to even get angry anymore. My activism is fading with the mail.

  2. What a nice take on the prompt! really letter-writing is a lost art ..but how one could forget the smell of those yellowish letters which contained love and a tangible form..

  3. I enjoyed writing and receiving letters too, Sherry but admit that I like emails too. And you don't have delete all your emails. I have folders where I keep the most special ones.

  4. great poem on a lost art... I am bending to the will of technology
    (sigh)... there something special about pen to paper but it will go the way of the dinosaur...

  5. my family still enjoys the daily jaunt to the mailbox. What do we sacrifice by cutting off the daily contact with something so simple yet tangible as a letter. Beautiful and sad Sherry.
    What will shut ins do? My mother relies on the daily mail to convey news in and out of her world...

  6. sadly much in letters...i love them...tactile memories...the smells of them...the personal touch of the handwriting...i miss letters....

  7. A handwritten letter is a rarity today but, during
    the holiday card giving I sometimes still receive a handwritten note and it just warms my heart.

  8. At least with the advent of emails we are saving trees, unless of course one prints emails for wrapping in ribbons. :)

  9. sadly true almost everywhere! a thing of past becoming a beauty for life.

  10. That sounds horrifying - no personal letter boxes..a bit Ray Bradbury..having said that I save my most special emails...I guess one day they will become obsolete too..dear pen..

  11. Beautiful Sherry! Wow, I am touched by this poem
    I just finished making mail art and was reflecting on what a gift a letter was. Mail is like sunshine when it is penned in sentiment and kindness~

  12. Geez! a dollar a stamp? I always hand write a message to whoever I send a card. I guess the dollar stamp will be my Holiday gift to them

    and the corporate 'efficacy' thing is so insidiously abhorent. when legislators can sit it their warm oak, cherry, or walnut wood offices and theorrize about how the middle class and the less than deserving poor should benefit from their rules and 'tightening of belts' which will be 'good' for them there folk. of course if they survive emaciation starvation and loss of home and love ones

    'we' those that have access to social media and the almighty pen must make sure we expose this at every opportunity. we have a voice not just for ourselves but for those that can't

    you expressed this well in this piece, mi amiga

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  14. You are so right. I was clearing out some old boxes in my attic the other day, goodness I used to write some letters. It is a lost art.

  15. This time of year is nice because we are getting cards in the mail. But even those are getting replaced with e-newsletters and e-cards :(

  16. Everyone has a different approach. I enjoyed your story Sherry. For me it was a bit different and really quite painful. My mother was a prolific letter writer. Away at camp or school she always sent many letters filled with her hateful criticism and always demanding a return letter. I learned to dislike letters and I love Emails. Haha! Funny, life. No? Hugs.

  17. Poignant. The idea of community lock boxes and the spirit of this poem indeed makes one feel we are slowly losing our artistic souls. Nay, our souls. Full stop. These days postmen only ever come to my house to deliver bills and more bills. Sigh.

  18. Isn't it amazing how things are going backwards now? And for every service they take away, we end up paying more for the little that remains. Insane!

  19. thought I'd commented the first time I read this, but guess not. Agree. Receiving an email has no real positive emotional connection. It's not the same as curling up, paper in hand, and lingering over lines. ~


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