This is the first poem I wrote after dreaming of Mary Knox, who personified my inner writer in a dream. The first line, “I rarely write poems on my Remington,” came to me in the middle of the night. I immediately felt the rhythm of that line. Inspired by the black Remington typewriter displayed in my home office, I contemplated my new writing environment where I’m surrounded by musical instruments, my notebook collection, a modest library, and inevitably my laptop. This poem, while providing musical elements, offers commentary on how technology affects the way we write. Truly, I rarely write poems on my laptop because watching words develop on a screen tends to confine my creative flow when brainstorming imagery and rhythm. On the other hand, I feel that my computer screen offers an organized platform on which I can organize my thoughts in a personal essay.
The research featured on my website explores how technology affects the way we communicate with each other. My conclusion is that our “humanness” decreases the less we speak face-to-face and write lengthy messages. While technology is a guiding force toward globalization, we must value the art of thoughtful conversation.
My reflections today slightly differ from my research in 2011 because I wonder how technology affects our relationships with our “writer selves.” Do our inner writers get sucked away into screens? Should we put pen to paper more often?
When do you like to write on the computer? When do you prefer to write on paper? When do you feel it’s best to write indoors, or outdoors? Comment below with your thoughts.
“Rarely on My Remington”
I rarely write poems on my Remington,
For the tip-tapping clicks off my creative mind.
On each word the space bar bumps,
Interrupting the usual dance of poetic prose across the page.
The shift keys lock each stanza into
Confining aligning regulation.
Though bound by the faded ink and tightly strung ribbon,
The free verse poem struggles to set itself apart.
And so I rarely write poems on my Remington.
I prefer my fine-pointed pen gliding across unlined paper,
For these instruments allow fluidity and flow,
Presenting a stage for the brief piece of literature
To dance in a flurry across the page;
Akin to the vibrating strings on a booming cello
The dance boldly covers the page, leaving few opportunities
Yet this youthful performance
Inevitably transcends and tires into a light stroll.
Gently strumming the strings of a setar,
The dancer sits cross-legged in the center of the stage,
Coming to the end of its fleeting lifetime
On this stage
Set by a pen and a piece of paper.