The Power of the Pen

The troubles with the modern world are too numerous to list, technology being among the worst offenders. Just imagine how much better off we’d be if there were no plastic bags to pollute our oceans and rivers, no soulless supermarkets but proper butcher shops, no imported European foods but homegrown lettuce from local farmers, and so on.

Just imagine how much smarter we’d all be if television had never been invented. Books would be read at night and on weekend afternoons instead of us watching mentally retarded people asking moronic questions from even worse know-nothings than themselves for the amusement of the dumbest of them all, TV watchers. Better yet, what a wonderful world this would be without Facebook and Twitter, two inventions of crooks and liars who are probably doing more harm to the human race than cancer.

The worst of all inventions, however, has to be texting—how does one send a love letter to a girl by text? Personally I don’t text, tweet, or appear on Facebook, Instagram, or any other such self-promoting con job. The trouble is, most women would not understand a love letter nowadays, and most men would be unable to write one. And the loss of love letters is probably the biggest crime against civilized living that scum like Zuckerberg & Co. have committed.

Amazon.com $50 Gift Ca... Buy New $50.00 (as of 05:05 EDT - Details) One lady of my acquaintance once wrote that in a case of fire she would save her love letters and to hell with her jewelry. (You can always get new jewels.) She called love letters the campaign medals of youth, infinitely varied in design and execution. (She was obviously a hell of a writer, too.)

Personally, I have not received many love letters, but I have sure sent my share. All of them have been written at night, under the influence and dying from what I perceive to be unrequited love. In a love letter, punctuation and grammar don’t matter all that much; the tone is all. In fact, if the besotted one wrote a perfectly constructed epistle, he or she would not be as besotted as they think they are.

The effort required to convey one’s feelings with precision is what makes the love letter difficult to write. John Keats, that most tragic and greatest of poets, was as good in his love letters to Fanny Brawne as he was in his poems. Because the love letter is a poem of sorts, a fine madness that compels the writer to say things he or she would otherwise never say. Napoleon’s letters to Josephine were nonstop and whining, and as usual, Napoleon was right. While he was fighting in Italy and Egypt she was being unfaithful.

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