Poetry and telephony

Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry. (Jack Kerouac)

Browsing today through a book of poems by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, I began noticing how often he’d written poems to specific people — using verse as a vehicle for communicating, and not just being arty.

Jack Kerouac’s advice rings true resonates deeply with me as I remember the phone-calls that might have worked better as poems … and the poems that would have made disastrous phone-calls.

Blogging gives us the best of both worlds — enabling us to combine poetry and telephony, as it were, to deliver messages with subtlety, simplicity and a certain style. But maybe messages of an intimate one-to-one nature would best be confined to Facebook chat or IM.


4 thoughts on “Poetry and telephony

  1. I dunno —
    Facebook chat or IM have their own disaster potential.
    How about face-to-face?
    (Skype, while nice, is not a substitute.)
    Or even, for those of us poetically-challenged, an actual in-hand, through-the-mail letter? In its quaint old way, I think it might be the most intimate of all.

  2. I like being able to express specific messages here knowing they will not be delivered to that specific person but delivered none-the-less.

    It’s another vehicle for specific human expression – a way to sense I’m being listened to if only just a little…


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