That Which Must Be Written

Through countless millennia

Came the realization…

Slowly at first

But then gathering speed

Until it could not be ignored

Could no longer wait

It was the dawning of a new era

The quantum leap


That those words and phrases

For eons

Had only been spoken

But now must also be written

Recorded by scribes

Etched in stone tablets

Inked on papyrus

Stitched into cloth

Markings on animal skins

Not for vanity or commercialism

Only for preservation

So that they be remembered

And attributed to those

Who spoke them

From humble beginnings

Progress and perfection

Improved techniques over time

Many advocates

Authors, playwrights, and poets

Orators great and noble

A chance to spread their words

Skillful yet no longer confined

By the singularity of a voice

Those limitations

And grand aspiration

Led to revelations

The rudimentary time had come

Finally to a close

As scratching, scribbling, and sketching

Gave rise to true writing

Language and alphabets

Letters, numbers, and punctuation


Their mediums evolutionary

Recording commodities

Properties, and increasing efficiencies

Advancements recorded carefully;

Catalogued collections

Of tomes, manuscripts, and books

Safeguarding the written word

Ensuring factual reproductions

Standards of accuracy

Creation of the library

Scrolls, tomes, and bound books

History no longer forgotten

When memories fail

Conquerors conquer

Or disaster plays an unexpected role

The written word

Nothing short of extraordinary

Revealing the sights and sounds

Of places near and far

Correcting inequities

Offering knowledge

To all people

Of all origins

And all status

Ushering in a new era

And opening the door to literacy


Additional Reading

Museum Pieces

What of Balance?

Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

4 thoughts on “That Which Must Be Written

  • May 14, 2019 at 2:54 PM

    Ralph, this is magnificent ! As I was reading I could envision your words in large type flowing up slowly with a background of a spectacular sunrise and as an introduction to a great movie. Excellent work and so very impressive. Your words sent goose bumps up and down my arms and warmed my heart. It is a great tribute to the written word and to all “Authors, playwrights, and poets, Orators great and noble”.

    You are indeed a great and noble poet, my friend.

    • May 16, 2019 at 8:58 AM

      A wonderful poem and, yes, a fitting tribute to literacy and writers in general.

  • May 18, 2019 at 2:03 PM

    Ralph I enjoyed this poem. It brought me down memory lane to when I decided to start my journey and all the books I have read. Thank you. Jamie


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