The History of Literacy

” The written word endures, the spoken word disappears.”

Neil Postman


I cannot think of a scenario somehow-

My imagination simply does not allow

Absence of  unquestionable supremacy

Of the written word, of basic literacy

Yes, I know there are people illiterate

I cannot but consider them unfortunate..

But it was interesting for me to find, 

As I read a book on history to entertain my mind

That less than a  thousand years ago 

Literacy and education were not considered so-

True, there were those learned few

Who the rest of the population looked up to 

For advice on medicine, justice or law

However, there were not many who saw

Value in learning how to write and read

It was expensive, took away precious time indeed

Away from working with their hands, toiling in fields

It was a lot of effort for very little yield

Production was simple, consumption local

Few people went far from their location focal

No records were needed, as most trasactions

Were completed to mutual satisfaction

As the society more complex grew

Keeping written records became a concept new

Promoting, in transactions, accountability


The written word proved its indispensability


So here we are, many centuries later today

Where reading and writing take up most of my day



As for many of us, who take a  literate society  for granted

It fascinates me to know this was a skill not much wanted

A thousand years ago-how we have evolved again

From working with our hands to working with our brain!

(What else can you expect from a girl for whom life exists between the pages of a book?)















Published by iheart11

A 30-something year old woman, physician by profession, fiercely passionate about work, family, travel and fashion..

2 thoughts on “The History of Literacy

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