Handwriting:An Elegy

I want to thank my mother for teaching me cursive. My writing today is more half-cursive/half-print, but it’s mine and I use it to write notes, lists, and personal letters when I have the time and patience. Ann Wroe reflects on the dying art of handwriting with intelligence and beauty in her article, Handwriting: An Elegy.

Wroe finds joy in the details:

“The instrument matters but, for the moment, seize anything. The old fountain pen, so familiar that it nestles like a warm fifth finger in the crook of the thumb, its clip slightly shaky with over-use; the pencil, its lead half-blunt and not quite steady in that smooth cone of wood; the ultra-fine felt tip from the office cupboard, with its no-nonsense simplicity, or the ancient mapping pen, nibbed like a bird’s claw, which surely writes only in copperplate, scratching fiercely as it goes. Seize even a ball-point, though its line is mean and thin, and though teachers will tell you that nothing ruins writing faster. Dip, fill or shake vigorously; and write.”

Her article is thought provoking and makes you ask yourself, “when was the last time I sent a handwritten letter to a friend?”

After reading her article, maybe you will feel inspired to revive the art of handwriting.




The Curator is an assemblage of original and found essays, poetry, reviews, quotations, image galleries, video, and other media in a continuing commitment to wrestle with all that is in culture, and to look toward all that ought to be in hope.