Sunday, November 13, 2011

TC: Penmanship


File:Spencerian example.jpg

If I were Sophocles, brave with truth

I would play my old fiddle a sharp tune or two

And then withdraw into the uniqueness of rock

Which your special penmanship changes into lock

For your l’s are special, as in Elgin Penitentiary

Where you have never been, my expressive farmer

Preferring liberty to freedom or a penitentiary

File:Pelikan-Kolbenf√ľller u. Tintenglas 2006-07-26.jpg

The baroque swoop in your l’s is for enhancing liking

I like you because I am mad at you

Often you are mad at me too

All very spectacular

But it’s awful when the other person isn’t breathing


Friendship tempts you to essay the r in rock while breathing

Your friend Rock likes you







And people

Like that

Like you

Goya is a tremendous painter

Goya is dead

But the poetry of penmanship is never dead

While you are writing

We survive for a while, and then we die

And this is but the beginning

Your d pirouettes then later you die

But there is no reason for you to care about any of that

For you have become the virtuoso of capital F

Even if tomorrow we die

I am still free to go on choosing whomever I like

File:Dip Pen.jpg

I go on choosing you

And you go on choosing me

Over and over again

Irrespective of merit

Spencerian script: D.L. Musselman, 1884
Classic Pelikan fountain pen with inkwell: Lothar Spurzem, 2006
German class-book, manufactured by Langenkämper-Verlag: photo by Moritz Hector, 2009
Dip pen with nib, 1925: image by EraserGirl, 2008
Cursive script, 1894: image by Arpingstone, 2005


Peter Greene said...

I enjoyed that quite a lot, and thank you for it.

TC said...


Please imagine that my gratitude for your kind comment is arriving at your door at this moment, in a carefully-calligraphed note, folded in a proper little envelope, as in days of yore.