Machine in the Corner

August 9, 2011
By retro_technologist48 BRONZE, Morton Grove, Illinois
retro_technologist48 BRONZE, Morton Grove, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Of puns it has been said that those who most dislike them are those who are least able to utter them."
--Edgar Allan Poe

Set up beside those huge machines,
the word processors of yore-
my fingers fly across the keys.
This "typing" is a bore.

Each day, early in the morn,
the bulking mass of metal
lurked forlorn
in the corner.
Passed by through the years of progress,
its worth nearly forgotten,
this Selectric called to me to suggest:
"Come see, how in past days it was done."

With a rattle and a bang resembling
the backfiring of a Model T,
This ancient behemoth, with paper rolled in,
ready to run-
to be frank,
the touch of each key
responded like a gun.

"Welcome to a world without backspace,
without the laziness of delete.
Here, mistakes and errors you do not erase
but thoughts you carefully complete."

My typing slowed for want of ease
but quality of my prose
substantially rose-addiction to instant correction appeased.

That fateful morning-a normal day in June,
a transformation-realization-what it really means
to slam the words onto paper, not merely a screen-
solid, tangible product from which the whole story-
past, present, future-can be gleaned.

The author's comments:
I was at the Skokie Library typing my final AP English essay on my laptop computer, and noticed this hulking IBM Selectric in the corner. I turned it on, frantically turned it back off due to its volume, and asked a librarian cautiously if I could use it. "Sure!" she responded.
So I rolled some paper in and that began my love of typewriters.

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