e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

The poetry of postage stamps

AJ864Recently I’ve been sticking Christmas stamps onto envelopes. I really like this years UK stamps – tiny pictures of people having fun in the snow. Other national post offices do their own, so we have a gallery of seasonal good wishes open to us.

As I was sticking I wondered if anyone has written poems about these tiny art-works. They ought to. Not only are stamps often artistic, they are sometimes valuable, give people employment in making, collecting, selling, and are the crowning necessity for your letters.

I only found one in my Google search, The Postage Stamp. by a poet called Herbert Nehrlich. It’s less about communication or art than a tragicomic love story.

Poets, however, have done quite well in stamps. There have been many stamp issues commemorating the AJ865great and, usually, dead poets.

I also found, on the Amazon site, a book entitled Chinese Classical Poetry Postage Stamps Pictorial. Sadly there is no other information, not even a cover image.

I decided to celebrate these small pieces of art with a haiku, a suitably small poem.

Art and function
in one little rectangle
of glue and paper.


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