Writing letters

IMG_5399 (1)
Detail from a mural in Artists Alley, Ajo, Arizona

I would work harder
at writing letters
if I thought someone
would open the envelope.
There’s something satisfying
about going to my desk,
sweeping aside the rejection slips
from my latest failed poem,
and writing to friends,
a different one each day.
Despite my devotion
to penning words on paper,
few friends reply,
and I have to remind myself
that letter writing
is about to pass away
into that realm where
rotary dial telephones,
carbon paper, and chalkboards
are of blessed memory.


Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Sunday’s Whirligig #123
More Poetry Pantry #365 at Poets United


Posted on August 6, 2017, in Ajo, Arizona, Poetry Pantry, Poets United, Sunday's Whirligig and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. I have just read that the highest post office is somewhere in India and I want to go see it before mail itself becomes a thing of the past…

  2. I think sending mails now mostly means emailing a person since it is faster. The post is usually only meant for official/ government stuff.

  3. I cannot resist opening an envelope–but I rarely stuff a letter into one and close it. But this is not only about the lost art of letter writing, but the sharing of feelings, and there I spend much more time sending than receiving. You make me see that.

  4. This makes me sad. I too love to write letters. I sent two this past week. I know I will get a response from one but the other is a letter from the heart, I know there won’t be a written response sad to say.

  5. “blessed memory.” i like this label. Happy SUnday

    much love…

  6. It really is sad to me as well that letter-writing (with envelopes and stamps) seems to be passing into oblivion. How much I looked forward to the letters from pen pals in faraway places some years ago & how quickly I then replied… But today I almost NEVER write a letter and almost never receive one. Even holiday cards (and birthday cards) seem to be passing… If this poem is based on fact, I commend you for continuing the letter writing. As I remember, it really FEELS good…especially when done with a special pen!

  7. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Yes. Once I used to write long letters to friends and family, and receive some too. But now email and texting seem just so much more convenient.

  8. Yes it is a thing of the past. I miss the cards. Who ever gets a thank you card anymore? Oh well , we dinosaurs must accept our lot…just as well we know each other and write poems.Your poem is very good..great use of those words and so succinct. I even counted them to see if you used all 12…you did:)

  9. It only takes two to begin a letter writing dialogue. Just sayin 😉

  10. Sigh. It is most unusual to receive a letter in the mail these days. I remember what a big part of my life letter writing was before computers and the internet took over. I do miss them and commend you for keeping up the tradition. Though it must be discouraging to get an email back in return. Smiles.

  11. Sad it is that the excitement of going to the mailbox is, for the most part, nonexistent … and along with it grammar, punctuation, and proper sentence structure attendant to the letters we used to write!

  12. I exchange letters with a few friends, and a very close friend just asked me if I would like to exchange poems… I received the request last night. Now I’m wondering if your poem is a sign, one that screams, “Say yes!”

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      Only you can answer that question. 🙂

      On Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 11:05 AM, Magical Mystical Teacher wrote:



    I relate well to this. I see you at your desk. RIP letters,, handwriting and diaries..

  14. That hand letter writing dies out, I don’t even remember when I wrote by hand except little notes ! It doesn’t bother me I prefer typing that’s quicker.

  15. So much of our world is passing away. But that was our world and I say Thank You

  16. As usual, your post is spot on and touches upon what I’ve been feeling myself: a great reluctance to see what has been traditional in writing, in teaching, go by the wayside. My third graders are being given Chromebooks in a few weeks…I will still teach cursive along with word processing.

    There is great joy in letter writing and receiving. Your friends are lucky to find an envelope from you in their hands. As for publishers, who knows what they think?!

    My best to you. I haven’t talked with you in a long time, but I still think of you and those early blogging days. Meredith

  17. is about to pass away
    into that realm where
    rotary dial telephones,
    carbon paper, and chalkboards
    are of blessed memory.

    Like everything else the social media’s convenience is supreme. The demise of other forms can be as early as next year


  18. ‘few friends reply,’ This is the attitude of most people, whether it’s letter writing or on line poetry 🙂
    I like this little tribute to letter writing, truly it has become a lost art.

  19. I always loved writing letters. Sad to think of it as a lost art, although, no one every understood my handwriting!

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