2020 NaPoWriMo Day 17 : Forgotten technology

Our prompt for the day (optional, as always), asks you to move backwards in time away from such modern contrivances as podcasts. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that features forgotten technology. Maybe it’s a VCR, or a rotary phone. A cassette player or even a radio. If you’re looking for a potential example, check out this poem by Adam Clay, which takes its central metaphor from something that used to stoke fear in the hearts of kids typing term papers, or just trying to play a game of Oregon Trail.



Place the paper in the paper rest

Be seated upright – that’s the best 

position if you wish to type. Now place each palm around the knob

on the left and the right, be careful not to bob

your head. You don’t want to tilt the paper 

And let it go hither – tither

Now turn

the knobs and watch the paten

roll. See the paper appear

in the front. Stop turning when there’s only a sliver

Check the ribbon and the carriage location pointer

Now press the lever

Set the margin

And begin

‘When you learn to read, you begin with A, B, C’

When you learn to type, you begin with A,C,D

F semi-colon L,K,J

“Who are you?What joke is this?” I hear you say

I’m shocked that you should speak to me this way

It’s time I remind you who I am

So listen up kid. I can’t believe this is happening- Damn!

I am the forgotten ancestor-

The Father of your modern-day computer!

What’s that you say? The Father is Charles Babbage!

I’ve never heard such atrocious garbage

Don’t be silly

Do you not see the similarity?

That on which you strum your dainty fingers

Is a part of me that still lingers

Have you forgotten Darwin’s theory?

The monkey is to you as is me

to the keyboard on your lap

Did I hear you say ‘Crap!’?

No? That’s better

For I’m the not-so-humble typewriter

The father of the computer!


Copyright©2020.lifeateacher.wordpress.com. All Rights Deserved.

P.C. From  the Net

Our resource for the day is the Poetry Foundation’s VS podcast, hosted by poets Franny Choi and Danez Smith. Every two weeks, they release a new episode in which they interview contemporary poets, and otherwise talk about what is going on in the world of poetry and beyond.


14 responses to “2020 NaPoWriMo Day 17 : Forgotten technology”

  1. Mini Billionaire Avatar
    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you for visiting the blog. Glad you liked it.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Abirbhav Avatar

    “The old must always make way for the new, and one thing must be built out of the ruins of another. There is no murky pit of hell awaiting anyone.” – Titus Lucretius Carus.
    Sorry for being a bit dramatic, was watching Julius Caesar (Historical) and your post came up, which touched upon “old” and technology.
    Brilliantly written Madam. I believe that though we may not use typewriters for writing, but we should use it for teaching ourselves not to make mistakes and draft a perfect piece, RFT.
    (Btw, hope you checked a poem of mine about the gigantic windmills. It touches upon a similar theme).. 😊
    Sorry for this long comment. It’s a pleasure reading your posts.. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Well that is a a rather dramatic comment for my not-so-humble typewriter. 🙂 But it fits. lol. True – they do make you a lot more careful but the ‘delete’ button is a life-saver. Can’t imagine anybody wanting to give it up. Please share the link of your poem here. And thanks again for reading the poem in the middle of Julius Caesar. You honored the typewriter by doing so 🙂


      1. Abirbhav Avatar

        I am sharing the link, though you already have read the story. Poems are there under the sections of Kinderdijk (Windmills), Berlin (Erstwhile Wall)..


        Liked by 1 person

        1. Smitha V Avatar

          Oh just saw it. Such a lovely tribute to windmills. I like what they say ‘The end will never come.’ That post of yours is something to go back to again and again. There are so many hidden jewels there. Again the pictures were so tempting.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Abirbhav Avatar

            Exactly, Madam.. Glad to know that thought resonates with you.. 😊 Indeed, the end shall never come, and we shall overcome, soon.. 😊
            Honoured to know that you find my post worth visiting again and again.. 😊 Hope you have an amazing time discovering the undiscovered jewels of the Netherlands and Europe altogether.. 😊

            Liked by 1 person

      2. Abirbhav Avatar

        Thank you so much Madam.. ☺️ The Honour is mine..

        Liked by 1 person

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