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Monday, August 08, 2011

The Lost Art of Postcard Writing

The New York Review of Books blog recently posted a commentary by poet Charles Simic on "The Lost Art of Postcard Writing."

Simic bemoaned that fact that he no longer regularly receives postcards from traveling friends. He recently, though, got a postcard from a visitor to Mongolia.
This piece of snail mail, I thought, left at the reception desk of a hotel, dropped in a mailbox, or taken to the local post office, made its unknown and most likely arduous journey by truck, train, camel, donkey--or whatever it was--and finally by plane to where I live.
If you have yet to take a vacation this summer, why not send us a postcard! We'd love to hear from you. Address it to Nesmith Library, 8 Fellows Rd., Windham, NH 03087.

Simic noted,
In my experience, people in the habit of sending cards could be divided into those who go for the conventional images of famous places and those who delight in sending images whose bad taste guarantees a shock or a laugh.

I understand that impulse. When you’re in Rome, everyone back home expects a postcard of the Coliseum or the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel: send them instead one of a neighborhood pizzeria with five small tables, three potted plants and the elderly owner and his wife wiping their hands on their aprons and smiling broadly.
We don't mind a laugh, but be careful about shocking us!

1 comment:

  1. Maria Horvath8:42 AM

    postcard from cape cod

    just now I saw
    one yellow
    across buzzard’s bay
    how brave I thought
    or foolish
    like sending
    a poem
    across months
    of silence
    and on such
    delicate wings

    ~ Linda Pastan, American poet