Most of those closest to me know of my utter and vehement dislike for Facebook. Unless you have nothing planned for the afternoon you shouldn't ask me if I have a Facebook page.
I have many, many good reasons for shunning this newest form of "socializing" but at the top of that list is the fact that it has changed the face of true, deep and honest friendship and the form of communication that occurs between friends and acquaintances. For that matter Facebook doesn't even differentiate between true friends and acquaintances, oops, you almost got me started!
I am a true lover of the letter and the written word (on paper, can you guess where this is going?). When a good friend came to spend a few days at the farm she mentioned a poem called Elegy for the Personal letter. After reading this mournful poem I felt that it conveyed all of my passion for the letter with my soapboxing.
To help you make the transition from half-hearted, half-sentence, virtual "friend"-rich, relationship-poor, non-conversations back to the elegant, thoughtful art of letter writing we are proud to announce our newest section in the The Farm Shop, The tools of Writing. We now carry many beautiful card sets with fountains pens and a wide selection of scented inks on the way.
Elegy for the Personal Letter
by Allison Joseph
I miss the rumpled corners of correspondence,
the ink blots and crossouts that show
someone lives on the other end, a person
whose hands make errors, leave traces.
I miss fine stationary, its raised elegant
lettering prominent on creamy shades of ivory
or pearl grey. I even miss hasty notes
dashed off on notebook paper, edges
ragged as their scribbled messages—
can’t much write now—thinking of you.
When letters come now, they are formatted
by some distant computer, addressed
to Occupant or To the family living at—
meager greetings at best,
salutations made by committee.
Among the glossy catalogs
and one time only offers
the bills and invoices,
letters arrive so rarely now that I drop
all other mail to the floor when
an envelope arrives and the handwriting
is actual handwriting, the return address
somewhere I can locate on any map.
So seldom is it that letters come
That I stop everything else
to identify the scrawl that has come this far—
the twist and the whirl of the letters,
the loops of the numerals. I open
those envelopes first, forgetting
the claim of any other mail,
hoping for news I could not read in any other way but this.
PS Teach your children to write before they can type. It will serve them well. These three letters came in the mail for my daughter when she was under the weather.