Handwriting Love Lost

Free Verse (#free) 30 July 2016
by John Anderson © 2016 See Collection => Email comments and feedback to John
My hand cannot write properly any more. The ink in my abandoned pen is dry.
My hand cannot write properly any more. The ink in my abandoned pen is dry. Source: Pixabay.com

A lament for readers to treasure handwriting and letters

Learning handwriting is becoming optional in many schools.
Keyboard typing is taught instead, either touch-type methods or 'hunt-n-pick'.
Humankind are now compliant slaves to QUERTY keyboards
with letters pre-formed and laid out,

Our species has stepped backwards in evolution
Reverting to apes unable to write with hands.
We now depend on computers to render
and translate our thoughts to machine language,
Weird digital code translations for key presses,
are processed and stored are in memory chips,
The letter code disgorged as pixel patterns
on computer screens and mobile displays for our eyes to see.
Our typing is mirrored in a flash on blackboards with auto-chalk on steroids.

Convenience and gadgetry has stolen the craft of shaping every cursive character with stroke of hand.
Handwriting lost, is love's hand-scripted personal expression lost,
is the craft and art of painting characters lost,
is love of writing lost,
is love of handwritten letters lost and not posted.

My writing has always been bad, and hard for even me to read.
Ruined by taking too many notes, too fast, at University lectures.
I seldom hand write any more, and I fear I am gradually losing my ability to write.
I've found that I can no longer think, as I write.

The hand to mind's eye connection has broken through neglect, and too little use and practice.
Even my doodles, scribbles and notes have become illiterate.
Ink in fountain pens I once loved and adored, has dried in draws with swords.
Alas, the keyboard and typing has won!
I am becoming a devolved ape
unable to hand write like my kin - the write-by-type hoards.

Every book humankind has penned can now be stored
on a chip the size of a postage stamp.
Probably just as well, as few people
send handwritten letters by post any more.
Stamps on sheets remain un-licked, and envelopes in piles, gather dust in Post Offices closing down.

The charm of the handwritten letter is sadly gone for good.
What a shame! Handwritten letters are so personal and memorable.
So revealing, expressive and lovely
in your friend's own hand-crafted script and font.

Hand crafted letters are kept lovingly as mementos to re-read and treasure.
They have so much feeling and emotion
stored in how the characters were shaped by pen and ink.
Museums store letters from 'The Front',
historic letters and documents, handwritten by famous people.
But, there is no point of keeping and storing
such document collections in the current post-handwritten age.

Typed pages are rendered dry of emotion, made barren
and wrung dry of feeling and warmth by being not handwritten.
No visitors will flock
to see postage stamp size collections of chips.

There is no point storing scanned digital collections
of typed letters and characters denuded of personality.

There is no point keeping our own soul-less, heartless and
impersonal keyboard-typed communications passed their use-by date.

Old emails, Twitter, Facebook, twat and twaddle
are set for auto-deletion, anyway.
They only waste memory and slow load times.


Background: My son went to Uni in Holland on exchange for 6 months. We communicated by phone, email, Skype, WhatsApp, etc. His mother and I sent him Christmas presents and 'Packs from Home' including Aussie stuff he missed like Vegemite, Cadburys Chocolate, lamingtons, Nutella Hazelnut Spread and various mementos of home.

Then his mother sent him a handwritten letter. He cried, she cried, I cried.