Monday, December 10, 2007

In Defence of Texters

Among the drivel that holds sway
Upon the radio today,
I heard a learnéd poet moan
That this new-fangled mobile phone
Would spell the death of English Lit.
By subtly replacing it.
For this new language he called ‘Text,’
About which he was roundly vexed,
Would render spelling out of date
With acronyms that just create
Phonetic words devoid of vowels,
Which chill all literary bowels.
And thus this word upon the street
Would render grammar obsolete,
With adverbs and subjunctive clauses
Lost to modernistic causes.
I know this poet and his verse,
And sadly know of little worse
Existing now in prose or rhyme
Within the pages of our time.
His references are so obtuse
And syntax so supremely loose
That very few can understand
Each Latin, Greek or Persian strand
That emanates at will from his
Well-rounded nether orifice.
Dismissive of both style and form,
So far from the poetic norm
His verses are, that if one chose,
They could be written down as prose.
For e’en the poet laureate
Should manage to communicate
With prince or pauper, stranger, friend,
In language they can comprehend.
And spirit quickly disappears
When writing solely for one’s peers,
Elitest nonsense, masked as style,
Delivered in a breathless guile,
That fools the meek poetic heart
To thinking he is hearing art.
And it is an uncommon truth
That our maligned, phone-texting youth
Are far more versed in every way
At reaching out through words today.
Though their epistles may be brief,
It brings an old man some relief
To see that they have found a cure
For television’s evil lure,
And though frustrated parents groan,
The ever-present mobile phone,
Ideal for communication,
Can’t be used in isolation.
Instead of being cooped up at home,
Their profiles are allowed to roam
Throughout the ether, interact,
“Poeticise” to be exact.
For poetry, to be precise
Is language chosen and concise,
And though the spelling may not be
That found in any diction’ry,
At least the reader knows what means
The writing on those tiny screens,
As very few pubescent writers
Reference Zeus or Heraclitus.
Androgynous and under-sexed,
They’re learning well the joy of text.
Elitist poet, hold thy tongue
And learn a little from the young!
Made the final shortlist of the Swift Satire Poetry Competition 2007

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