21st Century Grand
Old Man of Letters

The poet relaxes in his library with his devices

When I was a boy
And they asked me what I'd be,
"A Grand Old Man of Letters"
I'd reply invariably.

"I'll grow the longest beard
You've ever seen and
Every year I'll write
A thousand letters and
A book to build society's dream.”

So after I left college
I sat down at my desk
And prepared to write some
Weighty tome of high lit'air'iness.

But then I got distracted
And had a cup of tea,
My good friend Marky called me up
And said "You've got to see
The latest fashion on The Net
That's making it much easier
To meet new friends
And share a laugh
They call it Social Media."

"You really need to try it!
I know you're going to LIKE it!"

And ever since that fateful day
I've barely typed a word
Except for 'lol' and 'brb',
I've become a social nerd.

My world is ruled by smilies
With cheesy grins and winks.
My day is filled with 'liking' stuff
And clicking dodgy links.

I know
I ought
To cut
The power

Lock the door
And settle down with good,
Old-fashioned pen and paper
Every day for eighteen hours.

If I dared to deviate
Or stall, my wife
Would motivate me
With a staple to the ball.

I'd write us a best seller.
The sales would go interstellar.

We'd buy a country pad
And escape suburban tedia.
They'd add me to 'Who's Who'
And put my mug on Wikipedia.

But I haven't got the time
To even draft a single line.

I've posts to post
And chats to chat
And every day
My friends get needier
And my followers get greedier.

A Grand Old Man of Letters?

Bugger that.

I'll write my daily blog and
Earn from adverts for Expedia.

When I grow up I'll be
A Grand Old Man of Social Media.

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Poem Study Notes:

This poem was written in 2014, inspired by Facebook posts from people complaining about how they were never finding the time to do anything worthwhile.

The poet is no better. He has never managed to write more than about 20,000 words of a book and most of those were conjunctions and prepositions.

The truth of the matter is that I would rather spend time on social media moaning about never finding the time to write a book than actually writing a book. Is it just me?

Many of my favourite writers managed to produce masterpieces in spite of distractions from ill-health, poverty, alcohol addiction, gambling addiction and drug addiction. I am wondering if social media is a more powerful barrier to sitting still and concentrating than anything in that list...

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