Sunday, March 01, 2015

Poetry Sunday

The telephone, as some of us may remember, was an instrument once used to establish verbal communication with another human being. Today, of course, it's morphed into something with which we take pictures, find restaurants, measure our pulse rate, find the weather forecast, send text messages, check our e-mail, play games, deposit checks into our accounts, and ... occasionally ... establish verbal communication with another human being. The telephone used to be a weighty device carved out of bakelite that sat regally in a position of honor within the home, before it evolved into a tiny device with a fragile screen made in Chinese sweatshops. We celebrate the telephone today in this poem by Louis Jenkins ...

The Telephone
by Louis Jenkins

In the old days telephones were made of
rhinoceros tusk and were big and heavy enough
to be used to fight off an intruder. The telephone
had a special place in the front hallway, a shrine
built into the wall, a niche previously occupied
by the blessed virgin, and when the phone
rang it was serious business. "Hello." "One if
by land and two if by sea." "What?" "Unto you
a child is born." "What?" "What did he say?"
"Something about the Chalmers' barn." The
voice was carried by a single strand of bare wire
running from coast to coast, wrapped around a
Coke bottle stuck on a tree branch, dipping low
over the swamp, it was the party line, all your
neighbors in a row, out one ear and in another.
"We have a bad connection, I'm having trouble
understanding you."

Nowadays telephones are made of recycled
plastic bags and have multiplied to the point
where they have become a major nuisance.
The point might ring at you from anywhere, the
car, the bathroom, under the couch cushions...
Everyone hates the telephone. No one uses the
telephone anymore so telephones, out of habit
or boredom or loneliness perhaps, call one
another. "Please leave a message at the tone."
"I'm sorry, this is a courtesy call. We'll call back at
a more convenient time. There is no message."

Here's to the good, old telephone. Pardon me while I send this text.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Duckbutt said...

But nowadays you can personalize the ringtone; making it more user friendly.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Most of us don't have landlines any more. It's interesting that phones once were single purpose.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

This is cool: You don't have to type the captcha letters; just publish.

Big Sky Heidi said...

Great poem! Reminds me of Gramma's old rotary dial phone made of seemly indestructible bakelite.

Mike said...

Nothing beats a real telephone for clarity. I still have my real telephone line and have seriously thought of getting rid of my pain in the butt cell phone. I seldom use the cell phone anyway.