I am a technical writer. My job actually includes many more duties and responsibilities, but they seem somewhat ancillary to the fact that I spend most of my days sitting at a computer and...writing. What am I writing? Test protocols. Design specifications. Legalese for engineers. Where is the poetry in this? Even the words sound droll. Say it with me: "Design Specifications." It sounds awful. These words are neither woody nor tinny, they are simply... cold. There are times when I feel their chill so deeply that I lash out, clutching for some creative outlet, grasping at anything to keep the spark from becoming hypothermic. But there IS poetry in technical writing--some of it extraordinary and grand. The trouble lies with scale. If we were motes for whom millimeters seemed like miles, would we view the Mona Lisa as a masterpiece? Or would we see merely a randomly but gradually changing landscape with no especial meaning or charm? A good technical writer knows that the writing is part and parcel to a masterpiece so intricate and complex that no single person could produce it, and in this way it not only allows, but demands poetry, and bold statements, and exploration.
| "I spend most of my days sitting at a computer and...writing. What am I writing? Test protocols. Design specifications. Legalese for engineers. Where is the poetry in this?"|
the enormity of my thesaurus knows no bounds, said the slinger of words. sometimes it makes sounds. the book, I mean, it moans like a mourner gathering dust in a heap in the corner.
|| Posted on 2016-09-18 00:00:00 | by rws | [ Reply to This ] || Glass|
Li Po was glass.
Kant was glass.
We observe ourselves like transparent
We see the dark purple heart
we see the grey lungs, wings
rising and falling,
we see the oligochaetic
worms of thought
gnawing under the cap.
Linnaeus was glass.
Mozart was glass.
Franz Josef was glass.
In the transparent belly
we see the tubular moon,
and behind the crystalline mouth
the swallowed words.
A prisoner is glass,
a policeman is glass,
sixty glass robots
reside in the castle.
Behind the swallowed words
we see the glass-wool
of incessant melody.
Only the dead
draw the curtain
~ Miroslav Holub ~
To blend technicality with poetry; science with art; transcendental spirit with temporal form is the ultimate Holy Grail. You keep writing those technical pieces with poetry, then coming home and writing those poems with calculating precision.
|| Posted on 2016-09-14 00:00:00 | by BlankSheet | [ Reply to This ] || Very.. meta? What kind of technical writing to you seems grand and extraordinary? It seems to contradict the title of the piece. |
Though I'm guessing you meant it rhetorically, I guess what you mean is; any writing is poetry? Or is there a technical piece of writing or washing machine manual out there you found aesthetically pleasing or emotionally connected with?
Does such writing exist that would instill the same response from our loins similar to the work of shakespeare or blake?
Be it a binding legal documents that serve as templates changing only the date and time, mattering to only the names and entities that are affixed to this copy, which must be reproduced in triplicate and must be countersigned by senior officer Helen from HR.
That fucking bitch Helen from HR.
I've said Design Specifications with you and I like the look and sound of it, it can be droll but whenever I come across such words, I usually try to find something in it that I like, like that's 18 points on a scrabble board or something.
Thanks for the post, it got me thinking about some of the emails from work! God help me.
|| Posted on 2016-09-14 00:00:00 | by Pietro | [ Reply to This ] |