Letters

We learn them from birth
From pictures of animals,
And shapes on wood blocks.

"Here is letter A."
"Baloney starts with a B."
"C is for Camel."

In every culture,
As long as there is writing,
We absorb symbols.

They become the keys
That take us beyond our reach,
Where only minds go.

The dead speak to us;
Our emotions are aroused;
We expose our souls.

These notions we know;
But what craftsmen make the shapes
Whose forms become words?

They hide in plain sight,
Working anonymously;
Not seen for themselves.

Then, for some of us,
Each glyph beomes an artwork
In a masterpiece.

Now it is so hard
To hold close a printed page
And see just the words.

Each typeface has marks
That become the signature
Of its given name.

Meet Helvetica,
And commonplace Times Roman,
But don't stop there, please.

Thousands more await
To bring us their double gifts
Of Art and Meaning.

 

 

© 2008 Michael Yanega


 

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