Saturday, July 16, 2011

Poet

In the late-1970s, the Toronto poet C. A. Bic claimed to have found his inspiration in the errors he made at the typewriter during the evening classes he took at his local high school. He had not been searching for these words—only some marketable skills to help pay off his debts—but whenever the accursed machine came to a stop, he’d untangle the type to discover the words had again found him. And so, he kept falling behind the rest of the class, focussed as they were on words-per-minute, while subjugation hit Bic with the force of one finger.

Image: Wikipedia Commons

37 comments:

  1. I've added this to Magpie Tails 89 where you'll find lots of other writers who have turned to their typewriter for inspiration.

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  2. I haven't mastered my typing skills myself... Nice take!

    JJRod'z

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  3. Excellent!

    (but what's a "spit-take") lol

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  4. There is something fascinating in a type jam. I remember that well. The longest thing I ever wrote was done on an electric with whiteout and that hand held tape for striking over errors. Fortunately by that time we no longer needed carbons for copies. I remember that business too. That was high school work. ugh.

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  5. Ha! I do remember that, now. The old type jam. : ) Think of all the youngster who will never know... same may go for BIC pens one day, too.

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  6. I remember typewriter jams. My first year of college there were still a few professors who would accept only typewritten work, and the quality of computer printers was such that it was always very obvious whether one had typed or used a computer.

    Sadly, I did not find artistic inspiration in my typewriter, only endless frustration as I re-typed my papers over and over to correct errors that screwed up my pagination.

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  7. I too remember jams and mistakes that were difficult to correct (before there was correction tape) and typing on carbons---oh, horrors!

    It's amazing how some of us are driven back to past memories, and others wonder, 'What is that contraption? An antique of some sort?'

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  8. I hated typing with typewriters...never found my inspiration there. Guess I should have looked harder. Interesting bit.

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  9. I break out in a cold sweat when I'm reminded of type jams, carbons and re-typing. Good tale!

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  10. The only friendly typewriter I knew was my portable Olympia! Loathed the black clacky monsters at school! Interesting thoughts here!

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  11. Typewriter an me had a troubled relationship - deserting him for a Computer was the best thing I ever did! LOL

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  12. Dear Roy: C.A. Bic, eh? A bit of a visual writer is he? A Canuck from Toranna! yah, I got to look him up! thanks for the lead! Great write on the poet btw! :) jj Chiccoreal

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  13. Excellent response, impossible on a computer.

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  14. think I was at the same school ...

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  15. It's the untangling of letters that always made me late for dinner..sooty fingers and linen...a no no!
    Had a flame named Bic..I wonder...

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  16. Such a clever story, enjoyed it.

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  17. Hiya Roy! I can't help but anthropomorphize the image, specifically the little bird-beaked four-headed metal person kicking back with their ankles crossed in the jam.

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  18. loved it Roy - great take on the photo
    :)

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  19. It's a proud feeling, no doubt, to be able to type well. Especially when you're telling a story...

    Cheers,
    Arnab Majumdar on SribbleFest.com

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  20. Very cool post for this magpie. I love it when one word inspires a whole series of others.

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  21. Hi Roy, this post is a delight. Thanks for it and for visiting my place. I remember literally cutting and pasting parts of poems after typing the piece and want to see the changes I needed without having to re-type! The computer makes it easier---maybe too easy? No more accidents that actually move the writing forward.

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  22. I have a vintage Underwood that tangles words...

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  23. Oh, for simpler times... While typewriter jams were many, there was something inspiring about the effort that went into creating written pages with typewriters. Sad to say, I began with a manual and have progressed through the computerization of the world...I still miss the typewriters! Well done. Enjoyed this very much.

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  24. And I've also added it to dVerse’s Open link Night. A bit of prose about a poet.

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  25. smiles...how did i miss this at magpie...i like the thought of finding inspiration in our errors or in happenstance...my old typewriter jammed enough that would have at least given me hope...smiles.

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  26. fantastic - magnetic fields and auto chance
    the uncanny is found in the cracks. the minimum
    spoiler on the second hand tick tocks the tilt to the max.

    nice one Roy

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  27. this is really cool..this is true life art...getting lost in our errors and find the "real" in them..

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  28. Totally fascinating.
    I learned to type on the old typewriter but I sure do love the digital age and not having to erase the old fashion way.

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  29. LOVE this tale! But I was/am the WORST typist.

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  30. He would no longer need to worry about debts. He invented the biro didn't he?

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  31. good write, have a nice Sunday

    much love...

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