Under a Telephone Pole, by Carl Sandburg

Under a Telephone Pole, by Carl Sandburg - RF Cafe"There is no new thing under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9. "Everything old is new again." - Peter Allen in All That Jazz. Many such idioms exist regarding how often things tend to run in cycles; it's just that often times people who think they are witnessing a new phenomenon are not aware of the previous occurrences. I have written of examples where 'old timers' lament the attitudes of a fledgling work force when writings show the previous generation of 'old timers' who worked with the current 'old timers' in their youth expressed the same type concern. Experienced Ham operators think newbies cannot carry on the tradition of wireless because they are not required to learn Morse code anymore to earn a license.

OMG! We've Been Here B4," by Clive Thompson - RF CafeAn article titled "OMG! We've Been Here B4," by Clive Thompson, appeared in the March 2016 issue of Smithsonian magazine, wherein he points out how many people believe the advent of texting is leading to the demise of courteous social spoken intercourse. Unlike holding a face-to-face or telephone conversation where both parties are intimately engaged in a conversation where each can discern whether the other hears what is being said and can expect a response, texting provides an easy excuse for ignoring any portion of the communications and blaming it, if challenged, on not having received or not having noticed the text message. Mr. Thompson also provides examples of how each new mode of communications brings about complaints and suspicions by technophobes. Critics of the era worried that telephones might make people more lazy because they could lounge in their homes or offices while exchanging community or business information, rather than physically travelling to meet personally. He alludes to the following poem by Carl Sandburg (c1916), which I located and have posted in its entirety below.

Under a Telephone Pole,

I am a copper wire slung in the air,
Slim against the sun I make not even a clear line of shadow.
Night and day I kept singing—humming and thrumming:
It is love and war and money; it is the fighting and the tears, the work and the want,
Death and laughter of men and women passing through me, carrier of your speech.
In the rain and the wet dripping, in the dawn and the shine drying,
A copper wire.

-- Carl Sandburg


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Posted June 22, 2016