Poem ‘A Letter’

A drawing of an envelope

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Letter

I had a letter today,
an envelope neat and buff;
written in a fine, confident hand,
a nice final flourish at the end.
Evidently someone had time,
had taken the care
to place the Queen’s cameo
all square on the right.
Yes, a letter.
Two leaves folded and secure
and then “Dear”!
How good to see “Dear”,
and “faithfully” too.
Who is faithful now
in this swinging, shallow world?
As to the content
it escaped meโ€”
I mean I forget.
I folded it, put it back
and sealed it as best I could,
laying it flush to the table’s edge,
and smiled

poem ยฉ copyright df barker 2012



  1. E A M Harris · April 14, 2012

    I like the idea that receiving the letter is somehow more valuable than the contents. ‘Laying it flush with the table’s edge’ emphasises the importance of the physical thing over what it says. Interesting.


  2. Such a beautiful poem…it made me smile also!


  3. Frederick E. Whitehead · April 14, 2012

    This is an excellent poem! Great


  4. Ellen Grace Olinger · April 14, 2012

    Wonderful poem!


  5. Ina · April 14, 2012

    Hi David

    What a lovely poem ๐Ÿ™‚
    There is nothing like a real letter ๐Ÿ™‚ but this probably was one trying to make you buy something?

    I always found it remarkable that one should use “Dear” to start English letters with, no matter to whom it is written
    “Liebe” is the way to start a German letter, which also sounds nice. Liebe Herr Flick ๐Ÿ™‚
    In Dutch it usually is “geachte”, for strangers, and “beste” for more informal letters. People really dear to you are “lieve”. It seems there is no difference in English. Business letters starting the same as lovelettrs ๐Ÿ™‚

    Faithfully, also a beautiful phrase. We say “Hoogachtend” in official letters.. Very distant. ๐Ÿ™‚ Either way, the phrases don’t really mean much if you thnk of it! Which is a pity! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love what you did with the letter lol, and forgot what it was about!


  6. Eclipse · April 14, 2012

    Oh what an unexpected end! ๐Ÿ™‚ Well done


  7. Eve Redwater · April 14, 2012

    “Evidently someone had time,
    had taken the care
    to place the Queenโ€™s cameo
    all square on the right.” –

    this so made me think of how, in this day and age, people rarely take the time to send a letter such as this; technology means there’s not much need anymore… which I find quite sad. That’s the feling I got from it anyway! The endinf made me smile, too. ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Indira · April 14, 2012

    Very lovely poem.


  9. claudia · April 14, 2012

    nice…made me smile as well… we tend to get a bit careless nowadays…but then..form without content is not so good as well..


  10. Colline · April 14, 2012

    What a pleasure to receive a letter – it is a rare occurance in today’s world.


  11. zeebradesigns · April 14, 2012

    Oh, there’s nothing as special as hand-written letter, which is becoming a lost art. Thanks, as always, for sharing your poetry with the world!

    My comments have failed to reach you (an a few other WP blogs) for months, but I think Akismet has solved the problem! I always enjoy your posts! Z


  12. Thanks for reading “True Blessing”, my friend…have a wonderful weekend!


  13. Just A Smidgen · April 14, 2012

    Love getting a letter.. and your poem today!


  14. susanjanejones · April 14, 2012

    You can’t beat a good old fashioned letter.


  15. Russell Smith · April 14, 2012

    I love getting letters!


  16. walterwsmith3rd · April 14, 2012

    “Flushed to the table’s edge”….sweet. This poem is a mystery.


  17. magsx2 · April 14, 2012

    How I miss getting those wonderful letters in the mail, it is nice to get e-mails from friends, but there was nothing like getting that personal touch in the mail. ๐Ÿ™‚
    A lovely poem.


  18. Angela · April 14, 2012

    What great synchronisity David, I just posted a poem called “Addressed To Me” he he!

    Nice write… a reminder of our forgotten art of letter writing and the feelings dear it invokes. ๐Ÿ™‚


  19. rangewriter · April 15, 2012

    Yes, set aside to save as a relic for future generations? Letter writing really is a nearly dead art. As Postal employees around the world can surely testify.


  20. The Course of Our Seasons · April 15, 2012

    And I smiled as well – wonderful! Kathleen


  21. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thank you Kathleen!


  22. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thank you very much for your comment!


  23. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thank you very much Wendell!


  24. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thank you very much Frederick.


  25. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thank you very much Ellen!


  26. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thank you Ina – yes, letter writing, pretty much a dying art in any language, perhaps.


  27. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thank you very much, once again!


  28. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thank you Eve, I appreciate it!


  29. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thanks very much Claudia!


  30. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thank you very much Colline!


  31. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thank you very much – I appreciate it!


  32. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Yes, indeed! Thank you very much!


  33. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Thank you very much Linda!


  34. zeebradesigns · April 15, 2012

    Thanks, as well, for liking “Metamorphosis” and “Friday the 13; Nature Strikes Back”


  35. Soma Mukherjee · April 15, 2012

    What a marvelous piece of poetry, how beautifully you described the all important contents,how you described the stamps, i used to look out for the stamps, some times got lucky and got the latest ones ๐Ÿ™‚


  36. dfb · April 15, 2012

    Soma, thank you very much indeed!


  37. Victoria C. Slotto · April 15, 2012

    Letter writing: a forgotten art. This makes me want to sit down and write one. Doubt if I will as, like all others, convenience seems to trump all else. But there is someone who comes to mind…


  38. dfb · April 16, 2012

    Hi, no problem – I enjoyed them. Thank you.


  39. dfb · April 16, 2012

    Thank you very much Victoria!


  40. journeyintopoetry · April 16, 2012

    Brilliant David!

    Such a dying art, letter writing.

    I had to write a letter the other day to a nun I needed to get in touch with and I didn’t have an email address – fortunately. I say fortunately because I so enjoyed writing it, it was a breath of fresh air and somehow my language was very different to what it would be in an email.

    “With kindest regards”, I said, and I meant it.



  41. dfb · April 16, 2012

    Christine, thank you very much, once again! ๐Ÿ™‚


  42. bardessdmdenton · April 18, 2012

    Well, David…I know exactly what you are expressing here…as I just received an actually letter a few days ago…such a rarity these days…and it felt like a treasure even before knowing what was inside…


  43. Francina · April 19, 2012

    in this time a hand written letter is indeed something to cherish. Very well expressed in ypur poem.

    Ciao, Francina


  44. dfb · April 19, 2012

    Thank you Francina once again.


  45. granbee · April 19, 2012

    A handwritten letter containing “dear” and “faithfully” is well-worth treasuring and preserving these days. Such an artifact for posterity!


  46. dfb · April 20, 2012

    Thank you so much Granbee!


  47. Broken Sparkles · April 20, 2012

    I love the end with the smile, I too smile everytime I get a letter, no e-mail can compare to an old-fashioned letter waiting for you after a busy day …


  48. dfb · April 21, 2012

    Thank you very much once again!


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