A History (and Legacy) of Handwriting: a #haibun about script…#haiku #poetry



Second grade. I follow the exercises in the book. Up and down, up and down, up and down. Then the next set: round and round and round again, left to right on the lines across the page. All to accomplish handwriting the alphabet in script.


first penmanship …

watching outside our window

a cardinal


My best man called my handwriting sanskrit. My mother said I had “doctor’s script.” She wondered whether she’d forced me to write with my right hand, a commonplace practice in her youth. It’s a possibility; I’m quasi-ambidextrous. And my left-handed script is almost legible.


Blue jay scolding

handwritten journals piled

on my desk


Times change. Our school district chose to drop penmanship from the elementary school curriculum. Technology made handwriting “obsolete.” Mira and I tried to teach Frankie on our own, when he was younger. I even bought him a penmanship series similar to mine from second grade.

But to this day, he does not know how to write in script.



the last geese

take flight


for dVerse Poets Haibun Monday–Handwriting and Real Toads Tuesday Platform–National Handwriting Day



11 replies »

  1. I’m so glad you made it, Frank. One thing I noticed, your handwriting is similar to my late father’s. Another thing,we have all been through the copying exercises, for some boring, for others comforting. And all the left-handers who have shared haibun this week had problems with teachers or other adults. I love the first haiku, with the cardinal that is a beautiful distraction form penmanship.And I love the windchimes and geese!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m curious to know if you feel your son is hindered in any way by his lack of cursive ability. Having worked with doctors for 30 plus years, I can honestly say your handwriting is better than 99% of them! I enjoyed your write.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my brothers is ambidextrous, too, and for the same reasons–forced to used his right hand when his left was more comfortable. He got lucky and is able to use both with ease, but for different activities. His handwriting is art… of the nearly abstract sort.

    Liked by 1 person

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