I have a trim typewriter now,
They tell me none is better;
It makes a pleasing, rhythmic row,
And neat is every letter.
I tick out stories by machine,
Dig pars, and gags, and verses keen,
And lathe them off in manner slick.
It is so easy, and it’s quick.
And yet it falls short, I’m afraid,
Of giving satisfaction,
This making literature by aid
Of scientific traction;
For often, I can’t fail to see,
The dashed thing runs away with me.
It bolts, and do whate’er I may
I cannot hold the runaway.
It is not fitted with a brake,
And endless are my verses,
Nor any yarn I start to make
Appropriately terse is.
‘Tis plain that this machine-made screed
Is fit but for machines to read;
So “Wanted” (as an iron censor)
“A good, sound, secondhand condenser!”
First published in The Bulletin, 6 September 1917