The Written World

Does it ever scare you, how much you will never read?
Because I am sure that the answers to every question I’ve ever had
Have been written somewhere, sometime.
Maybe it’s in another language, or halfway across the Earth;
Maybe this world is even romantic enough for me to find it washed up in a bottle,
But surely, I am not alone in my thoughts.

How wonderful it is, the way my mind doesn’t know what to do with written words
Except read them;
Read them, with the well-practiced voice in my head.
But there are people out there who can speak their name
And not recognise it on paper.
How strange it must be, to look at the English language and see nothing but whimsical doodles,
Mistake letters of the alphabet for odd lines and squiggles.
What a privilege it is, for me to read as easy as it is to speak,
Slide through sentences like skating across ice.

You have the power to understand scientific journals, great literature,
Yet you squander it by scrolling through social media.
Fashion trends and diet crazes,
Nourishing your body instead of your mind,
Replacing words you’ve learnt with rows of emojis.
How many times have you reflexively written ‘student’ under occupation
Without realising how fortunate you are to have an education?

These nights, I’ve been reading the dictionary,
Wrapping my tongue around new words
And gifting them to my vocabulary.
I nurture my lexicon like a cherished plant,
Crafting sentences to use words I’ve missed seeing;
Writing it down on paper
Just to feel my pen curl around these letters like a long-lost friend.
The ink gives itself in to the paper,
I give myself in to words-
They are an extension of my fingers.

So tell me that one day, I will find something-
A person who words cannot describe, maybe,
Or a question words cannot answer,
When I’ll finally be lost for words-
Naked, vulnerable.
Let me know that it will be frightening;
Of course it will be, when I’ve built a life around words.
And when I ask for the solution,
Tell me it lies not within the pages,
But written in the stars.


51 thoughts on “The Written World

  1. pennygadd51 says:

    That’s a very interesting poem, and much more reflective than usual. I like it a lot. It seems to me that the last two stanzas make a poem all on their own; possibly a better one than the entire work. Did you wonder this as you wrote and polished it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Heartbeatingwings says:

      Thank you Penny! Hm, what an interesting point you make. Now that you mention it, I have to say I agree with you. I originally intended this piece to be about literacy, but it somehow also became a reflection of my appreciation for words. And of course, I had to end it on somewhat of a whimsical note. Thanks for pointing it out! The second to last stanza is actually my favourite πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Chagall says:

    Bravo! Love this quartet:
    I nurture my lexicon like a cherished plant,
    Crafting sentences to use words I’ve missed seeing;
    Writing it down on paper
    Just to feel my pen curl around these letters like a long-lost friend.

    —CC πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jessi says:

    Wonderful piece! (I wanted to stand an applaud at the social media commentary) It’s beautiful how you weave the writing into a little home for words, and then wander outside it at the very end to seek beyond…I didn’t see that coming. I do always worry about all the books I’ve left un-read and adventures I’ve missed and so felt this piece deeply! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Heartbeatingwings says:

      Ahh, thank you! Yes, there are so many things out there that I will never read, and I always did think it was a bit of a shame. And as for the social media part, I have to admit we are sometimes too focussed on it (although I am guilty of that myself sometimes!). I am so glad you agree with me though! xx


  4. honingyourreality says:

    I feel what you have expressed. Beautiful. The end reminds me of how I feel after a spiritual experience. As writers and lovers of words we pride ourselves on our ability to describe everything through the pen. When an experience hits that is more than words, or where words leave it feeling cheap, there is a sense of loss.
    How privileged are we to have an education? How amazing is it to be able to translate thoughts and feelings into words?
    Wow…great thought provoking piece

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heartbeatingwings says:

      Aw, thank you for your lovely comment! This is so true! I hate coming across anything I cannot describe with words, realising that maybe even words have their limits.
      I was inspired to write the part about education after filling out a departure card at the airport. I wrote ‘student’ under occupation, as I have been doing for as long as I can remember.
      I remember anticipating the day when I could write something more ‘interesting’ (in my case, a dentist, as that’s what I’m currently studying towards). I guess I had kind of assumed ‘student’ was the default answer for anyone before the age of 20 or so, but I’ve realised now that that’s really only the case in developed countries – there are so many children out there who cannot write ‘student’, as they are not fortunate enough to receive an education. Up until that point, I had never really truly appreciated what a privilege education is.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. johnlmalone says:

    thank you for visiting my humble blog. I liked the third stanza very much. It’s something I do too. I have a fascination for emojis and will use them, instead of words, at the drop of a hat πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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