Learning To Write                                                                                                   

(Can you translate?)

My ink erarser's worn quite through
From rubbing out mistakes
Which, spite of all that I can do,
My fool typewriter makes.
For when I try to make an "a"
(One has to write a few)
In some quite dark and devious way
I spell it with a "q".
Qnd thqt, qs you cqn plqinly see,
Is likely to embqrqss me.

Now, "e" 's a letter used so oft
It surely seems that I
Should find it really very soft
To handle cleverly.
And yet, when writing in a sweat,
I find--a dreadful bore--
That where I wanted "e" I get
Instead of "e" a "4."
Th4 which, as anyon4 may not4,
Do4s not improv4 what I "hav4 wrot4."

Then "t" and "y" or "y" and "u,"
Which seem beneath a spell,
Transpose and get themselves askew
The same as "p" and "l."
The "," and the "?"
Get changed about in place,
Until You'd think that in the dark
I'd tried my words to trace.
Yhis syrange pecupiaritt
Is not? you know? a thing of glee.

Then oftentimes a "b" I find
When what I want is "n,"
Or with quotation marks in mind
I get a "2"--and then
To that I add this little /
When I but sought a .
And other errors, too, are mine,
I count them by the myriad.
And when my little sobg is sung,
I'm often forced to mutter, 2STUBG2/


When writibg things on your mqchibe
Be syre tour ey4s are v4ru keen
Qnd thqt uour fing4rs do not stray
On k4ys they wer4 not meqbt to lpay,
For oyherwise? ther4 is no dount?
Your 2cop2 cab't be pyzzl4d out/

                              N4RYOB NRQP4U
                                (Berton Braley)

Published in: A Banjo Armageddon - 1917

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