Books: The Friday Poem – Six Typewriters, by Fleur Adcock

 

Six typewriters

 

To begin with, my father’s reconditioned

German keyboard picked up during the war,

with a spiky Gothic ‘o’.

Then, I suppose,

when I was married, the use of Alistair’s:

details forgotten or repressed.

 

In Dunedin I answered a small ad

and paid £10 for a museum piece

black and upright as a Model T Ford.

 

Next, a surprise: Barry Crump’s portable

Empire Corona, an honourable

parting substitute for alimony.

 

It’s rusting at the back of a cupboard

in case it should become collectable –

after all, he had his face on a stamp.

 

Then my Adler Gabriele: brand-new,

the machine ‘für moderne Menschen’ –

handsome and much cherished, until

 

the last one, a gift from my mother:

electronic with adjustable spacing

and a self-correct facility;

 

so efficient that for years I spurned

computers. Of them I shall say nothing.

 

 

 


The Spinoff Longform Fund is dedicated to facilitating investigative journalism. Our focus is on supporting in-depth reporting on important New Zealand stories. Your donation will help us sustain this most resource-intensive form of journalism, ensuring that the most complex and important stories still get told.


The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.