Anatomy of Typography [Poetry Friday]

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

Fantasy: As 2018 wound down, the Poetry Princesses thoughtfully pondered how to begin the new year…

Reality: Thankfully, Tricia emailed us all last week and said, basically, Ack! Let’s write a poem to one the four images I’m sharing. Whew! Good thing she did that, or we likely would have missed this month! 

One of the images was of this alphabet, and it made me think about how even just the different way a letter looks physically makes it feel different to me, emotionally. Bold, italics, serif or san serif…all these things make a difference. And then I wanted to know what different parts of letters were called and I found this page: I was fascinated by all the human body names we give to letter parts. Letters are us. Stories are us. Our language is us. And that led to my poem below, a first draft, but one that I’m fairly satisfied with as a first draft. So…that’s a good start:>)

Photo: Alphabet Portfolio by James Stroud and Matthew Carter

Anatomy of Typography

I’m looking forward to seeing what my Poetry Sisters have come up with–right along with you guys!



Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

Visit the Poetry Friday Roundup with the awesome Sylvia Vardell to see all kinds of wonderful poetry posts. Happy New Year, everyone! May 2019 bring you plenty of shoulders, ears, and bowls.






17 Responses

  1. Oh, that’s beautiful. I love the “have all we need” and the sequences. From stem to baseline.…words…stories…life…worlds. You really cover it all in one short poem.

  2. I love this personification of letters and how you lead us to what they truly mean to us writers.

  3. Mmmmm, SO BEAUTIFUL! I love how your poem and Sara’s sort of speak to each other bodily. Thank you for this — it’s such a launch into another year of writing…

  4. Oh, Laura, thanks for doing the further research. I love that you included those various images, a “curve of bowl to hold our joys…” or “an ear to reach out”. What a terrific poem from the prompt. Now I’m interested in finding those terms, new to me!

  5. As I mentioned to Tricia, this image called to me, but I could make nothing that worked. This works so well, and I could imagine this used in a classroom, where children are required to learn the letters as they ARE, but sometimes might welcome the freedom to express letters as they see them! This is really neat.

  6. I cannot believe you have written such a beautiful ode to the alphabet. All true — yet I never would have thought it, if you hadn’t put it into words.

  7. When I play with my image editing software I always spend most of my time scrolling through fonts. I get strong emotional feelings, too! As they say here in the Boston area, you and I are “soft as a grape.”

  8. Oh, I love this, Laura! It’s like you discovered a whole new language and used it to enrich our understanding of letters and words…to bring out the nuances. “A curve of bowl to hold our joys and struggles”–love that and all of this fabulous poem!

  9. Laura, this is wonderful! I especially love the progression of the last stanza. So much contained within those stems and bowls and shoulders! Happy New Year!

  10. “Letters have all we need.” I love this beginning, as well as your descriptions of the roles letters fill. Beautiful poem.

  11. Fascinating! I love it when a poem teaches me something new..and leads to all those new worlds waiting to be created and explored.

  12. Wonderful to see a poem paying tribute to letters–yours is lovely Laura! And we owe so much to these beautiful forms.

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