A Lost Art
I love to meet with friends, and to sit with them and chat,
A rewarding way to pass the time, discussing this and that,
As we set the world to rights that talk’s a favourite occupation,
A chance to join with others in the art of conversation.
But as I look around these days I worry when I see,
So many bad examples of how things have come to be.
Two girls there on the Metro left me feeling quite perplexed,
As they sat next to each other to communicate by text.
Heads pointed down and fingers flying, total introspection,
As they “talked” there to each other, with no meaningful connection.
I’ve seen a family in a pub, all gathered for a meal,
It’s no exaggeration, and to me it seemed surreal,
Both parents and the children, with i-pads in their hand,
They may as well have been apart, all in some distant land,
In separate worlds they surf the net, oblivious of each other,
Just how does that fit in with being a Father or a Mother?
So is it any wonder that when youngsters do speak out,
The noises that they make leave no room for any doubt,
That they’ve lost the use of English, with a sentence all expressed,
With grammar and vocabulary suitably addressed.
No “I was like” or “she was like”, such tortured, mangled speech,
With constant interjections as they struggle there to reach,
For the words to tell their story, in sentences that vary,
With such easy, practiced reference to a wide vocabulary.
I see recorded interviews with people in the street,
A “vox pop” scene from years ago, with sentences complete,
So very different from today, I sometimes wonder whether,
The person being interviewed can string three words together,
Without “you know” or “kind of like”, or using that ”I mean”,
To fill those yawning gaps where those lost words would once have been.
And even social gatherings work against good conversation,
With some awful, blaring disco blocking all communication,
As you sit and strain to lip-read what your neighbours try to say,
But the decibels still triumph, and those words just fade away,
So you smile and nod, and then give up, another chance is lost,
To communicate with others, and it all comes at a cost.
At heart we’re social animals, and we have the gift of speech,
To serve our complex lifestyles, to help us all to reach,
A proper understanding of what brings us all together,
To cement a lasting friendship takes some concentrated blether.
So I’m making no apologies, and I may be an old fart,
But I mourn for conversation, now becoming a lost art…
Copyright © Michael McCarthy | Year Posted 2018