Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Art of Cursive Writing

Some elementary schools plan to eliminate cursive writing from the curriculum. Classroom teachers say that lack of time in the school day — and too much to teach — contributes to the desire to drop penmanship lessons.  This does not make much sense to me.

During my life, this functional art form has helped my writing bloom.  Each artful loop, whirl, tie and tail I learned from a patient father with a perfectionist's eye.  I observed the writing of teachers and friends to adapt my style.  It continues to blossom.

For writers, cursive writing inspires both a meditative state and a way to access both sides of the brain for productive results.  The hand moves to stimulate the brain's logical side. Letters form words in artful flow from the right side's intuitive cells.  Integration of both sides occurs as a result.

Writers need to feel the elegance of writing with a fountain pen and see its splash of color.

Since childhood, I've considered fountain pens my ponies.  My mind has ridden bareback.  Without use of a bridle or saddle, a variety of pens behave with finger pressure.  Turquoise, emerald, magenta and sunshine flow from my thoroughbreds, morgans, quarters and an Arabian or trail pony.  The mustangs and stallions often buck the surface for new ideas.  Lippizans dance their air ballet.

These fountain pony pens combine with textured paper to push a progression of ideas. Ink on both rough and slick surfaces increases in speed for creativity capture. It slows to corral emotions and thoughts to ponder. Movement to cross a T or dot an i stays fluid without breaking the spell of rhythm and progress.

Cursive writing adds a magical quality to the writing process. Imagine in a few generations not having the ability to read our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, or Bill of Rights  -  all written in cursive writing.

Creative Write:  Recall how you first learned cursive writing.  If you handwrite in a journal or prepare initial drafts by handwriting first, consider in what ways it differs from composing on a keyboard. Have you transitioned from creating in handwriting to keyboard creating?  Do you go back and forth?

Handwrite a favorite passage or poem with a rollerball or fountain pen. Take time to form the letters, find a rhythm and feel the flow.  Write about this process.


  1. It expressed good views on cursive writting

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. As I am a high school English teacher, I shared your blog and poem with my students today and have invited them to leave you a comment as well. I absolutely loved the imagery in "Calligraphy of Wings," and the visual of a father's hand carefully cupping and guiding the efforts of his "fledgling" writer.

    When I asked my 140 students about who knows how to write in cursive, only around 25% said they could. Indeed, it is a shame to think that the art of writing cursive is a dying form. Even my 10 year old son, to date, has had no practice in school with cursive handwriting, which is why his summer work (for Mom) is going to include one practice sheet per day.

    Again, thank you so much for your thoughts here.

  3. Thank you so much for your comments. They made my day. I'm so glad you realize the importance of cursive writing. Please sign up for my blog to gain ideas as you propel your class to energize their writing wings. I post daily.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this with my class and it made me want to be a better writer as a student

    1. Thanks, Jake. Keep writing. Come back and visit this site for ideas.

    2. I very much enjoyed your views on cursive writing. I really want to keep practicing to truly master the beautiful arts of calligraphy.

  5. Thanks for visiting my site. Keep practicing and write on! Visit here often.