this week’s theme is letters. You could of course pick your favourite letter of the alphabet. You could do an acrostic poem. You could write a poem about a letter you wished you had sent or received. You could write a letter and call it a prose poem because it may well be one.
These are telegrams for January 1957. They were included in the final batch of photographs my parents have given to me for the family history project. I think they look like parts of a game. Getting a letter or card is quite special now when personal communication is often by text or email or a one App or another. Here is a poem by Spike Milligan
I was thinking of letters,
We all have a lot in our life
A few good – a few sad
But mostly run of the mill-
I suppose that’s my fault
For writing to run of the mill people.
I’ve never had a letter
I really wanted
It might come one day
But then, it will be just too late,
And that’s when I don’t want it.
Poems that read as letters are called epistolary. Poems that directly address someone or something.
Here is Elizabeth Bishop’s Letter to N.Y.
In your next letter I wish you’d say
where you are going and what you are doing;
how are the plays, and after the plays
what other pleasures you’re pursuing:
taking cabs in the middle of the night,
driving as if to save your soul
where the road goes round and round the park
and the meter glares like a moral owl
When I think of letters I more often think of songs rather than poems.
Of course the note here This is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams is perhaps one of the most memorable (to my mind) because it is so ‘reusable’.