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  • Writer's pictureTony Frobisher

Letters to No One

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

Letters to No One

When was the last time you wrote a letter?

Handwritten, on paper, with pen and ink?

Signed it, with your moniker and a kiss,

Not a hashtag or website link?

Folded the paper,

Placed it in an envelope,

Stuck on a stamp.

That gluey taste lingering on your tongue,

damp and sticky,

A taste of the past,

When letters were meant,

Second or first class.

Not typed and clicked,

Please see attachment.

Emailed, texted, WhatsApp-ed

Impersonal detachment.

When was the last time

You scratched ink on a page?

Giving life to thoughts,

Not a single word wasted.

When was the last time

You received a loving letter?

Ran your fingers over each sentence

And felt the world instantly better?

Words to the loved,

Words from the wise

Letters, memoranda, missives

Ink upon paper, the most personal



Letters have become unfashionable. Usurped by the immediacy and impersonality of technological communication. Email and text, WhatsApp and Messenger. Zoom and Skype.

But as a boy at boarding school we HAD to write a letter home to our parents, if I remember correctly, every week. And what joy it was to receive a letter - and how sad you felt if you didn't.

When travelling around Asia in 1996-1998, email was new. The internet in its infancy. I wrote postcards from every country and place I visited. My mother collecting them and displaying them on the fridge. I sent long, descriptive letters, handwritten, of my travels and adventures, feeling and emotions. Not a text with a photo attached...wish you were here, video call tomorrow.

And what joy from reaching the main post office in Madras/Chennai or Colombo or Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh/Saigon or Pnomh Penh and checking Post Restante, finding a letter waiting in that wonderfully, chaotic, tropical city addressed to you.

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