Podcast Poem: Words Under Water (or the Drowned Font)

I’ve been reading the book Just My Type that looks at fonts, typesetting, and the ways that lettering changes our perceptions as writers and as readers. It’s pretty fascinating and I will explore more on another day. But one story stood out — that of a creator of typeface who fell out with his partner, and before he died, he dumped all of the moveable type of the font into the river in order to destroy it rather than give it over to his partner. I wondered about those letters, and those words that might come of them, and this poem came from that.

Words Under Water (or the Drowned Font)

if you will:
words under water –
letters culled together by the ocean’s pull
as heavy metal type, cast off from a London bridge,
re-assembling themselves seamlessly into stories no one will ever hear
or read,
and yet filling up countless pages that get turned by the currents
every single day
in a font lost forever
by the jealousy of its creator
whose only goal as his sunset days ended
was to destroy the words
by drowning.

Peace (in the forgotten font),

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