ipitaph on an ipad

So,  Steve Jobs brings the Tablets down from the mountain!

The launch of iPad, hyped or not according to your view of things,  and the fervent, nay religious, language surrounding it all has prompted me to post this little poem. I wrote it a while back, really as a warning note to myself. I enjoy the technology and (I confess) might quite fancy an iPad, but I’d like to feel, when I looked up from my multicolour doodle pad that I was still engaged with life itself. So here’s the little i-Poem:

Half-Life an Epitaph

The life he left,
He skipped and skyped,
No book but face-
No space but my-
No tune but i-
No mail but e-
No roots, no tree
No he nor she
With love to share,
To bind and bear…

Death did not digitise
his unrecorded cries
His last unsampled sighs.
Deleted without trace,
In placeless cyber-space,
He lived no second-life.

On some enduring stone let this be carved,
Life hyphen-hyped is only hyphen-halved


Filed under Current affairs, Poems

17 responses to “ipitaph on an ipad

  1. Robert-Louis Abrahamson

    Well, I must say that seeing you carrying around Belloc and all those other books nearly sold me on the iPhone the other day (this poem above was written before you got the iPhone?) – and then this iPad looks all the more attractive. But I wonder how much one pays for the electronic books from their new iBooks shop.

    But it’s that fear of “placeless cyber-space” that keeps pulling me back from these devices.


  2. malcolmguite

    Thanks for the comment. Well this was certainly not an anti-technology rant as such, more an attempt to preserve balance. I embrace the irony that it was written and published on the very technology whose dominance it calls in to question. The problem is not that the technology, but that it is brilliant and getting better all the time. I love my iPhone and feel it is distinctively mine now that it is full of Belloc and Chesterton and Dante, and, having watched Apples promotional vid for the iPad, I can see its tremendous virtues just as an e-reader even if it were nothing else. I can even hear the siren voices that say owning one would be part of a plan to simplify my life! The real question is, have I the discipline? Can I put it down as well as pick it up? Will I always honour first the real calls of local, and particular flesh and blood on my time and love, or will part of me always be elsewhere “getting lost in that hopeless little screen” as Leonard Cohen so prophetically said.

    • Mankind was not made for the iPad; but the iPad wa made for mankind. And it is good. It is very good. And so is your ditty, Malcolm. Thank you!

      • malcolmguite

        I agree about the iPad itself Ruan; the more I look at it, the more I like it, but my problem is that I am an infinitely distractable man!

  3. Pingback: iPad iPitaph – Maggi Dawn

  4. I shall not covet my neighbor’s iPad; will probably be easier than I once thought.

    • malcolmguite

      Yes. The first Tablets of Stone broke when Moses dropped them (well actually threw them!). I wonder who’ll be the first to do that with one of these! Doctors will be treating people for DIS; Dropped iPad Syndrome.

  5. Pingback: The Reluctant Ordained

  6. i found this via Jonny Bakers blog and iNjoyed very much Mave posted a link on via Twitter from i-Phone not i-Pad !
    Have you seen the ‘Hiltler responds to i-Pad’ on YouTube – Brilliant

  7. malcolmguite

    thanks. have just been enjoying your blog; inputs out puts, through-putd, shot-puts, the only out-come that matters for the Kingdom, is fruitfulness, and fruitfulness is self-multiplying and immeasurable (here at anyrate) but prayers that your blog and mine may both be fruitful in some way. I love my i-phone too, its just a case of making apple an apple-seed for the kingdom

  8. Alba

    Not sure if you saw the cover of the Economist this week..?

    Top right hand corner…

  9. malcolmguite

    Nice one Alba, no I didn’t see that, but someone at the economist was obviously reading my blog! Glad to find yours by the way!

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  11. There is evidently a lot for me to ascertain outside of my books. Thanks for the wonderful read,

  12. Loved it! Loved the rhythms in particular!
    Thanks much. I do have an iPad, though I only use it in the car while my husband drives, to keep up with email, blogs, twitter, facebook etc. It’s useful–though it is filling the time once used for conversation or listening to books on tape. But a beautiful, intuitive gadget, and I am glad it’s been invented.

  13. Pingback: iOde; a little poem for my iPhone | Malcolm Guite

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