A plea for pity – II

A plea for pity – II

Keats’ plea for tolerance, given we each have flaws that can be painfully exposed.  See Theodore Dreiser’s similar suggestion that pity and compassion be given more room in a stony-hard universe. And George Eliot importunes us to lean towards tenderness...
Another long letter

Another long letter

Those were the days when conversations at a distance had to be committed to paper, and I like Bronte’s preparation for writing a long letter on the grounds that the addressee’s own letter caught her interest. Along with one of my brothers, I am on a...
The pleasure of paper post

The pleasure of paper post

One of the greatest pleasures of Christmas, for me anyhow, is the sending and receiving of cards, one of the few genres of paper post that still seem to hold their own.  This year I was late writing them as we returned from a long trip just before the holiday season...
This is the world

This is the world

Keats was one of the most life-loving people you could hope to meet, grasping with all his force every chance of happiness, even evanescent, and despite being repeatedly assaulted by unforgiving ‘Circumstances’.  He looks life’s fragility in the eye...
As cold as …

As cold as …

A letter from Keats to his beloved Fanny, with a kindly injunction to wrap up warmly.  I loved the solicitude and the bracingly original simile for a chill wind.’You will be as cold as a topsail in a north latitude – I advise you to furl yourself.’...
The last and the first

The last and the first

Hand written cards and letters are part of an ancient but rapidly dying art, hardly helped by the high ratio of people who like or love receiving them to people who find the place, paper, pen and postage to write them.  I mourn this demise while contributing only a...
Unintended consequences

Unintended consequences

A small restaurant in Maine sought to limit the number of reservations by requiring people to send theirs by post. They ended up with more than they could handle, by a long chalk, or pen. Perhaps I could try the same thing with this website. Want to sign up to the...
A packet of yellow love letters

A packet of yellow love letters

What happened to all those love letter in a private drawer, sent and kept over centuries when this was the main medium for long distance love making? The population is larger than ever, yet the material that will survive the ephemera of digital letters and messages...
Letters unsent

Letters unsent

Earlier posts touched on letters unwritten or unopened. There is also a whole class of correspondence that is written but never sent. I have done this myself a couple of times, finding the writing of the letter to be a cathartic act, without any need to follow through...

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