The Telegraph Office

by Neal McEwen, K5RW

Wireless Poetry

Two Early 20th Century Poems

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Here is a short poem written during the first few years of commercial wireless telegraphy. Note the reference to Marconigram, which is a telegram passed by a Marconi wireless system.

Wireless, by K.G. Martin, 1904

Wireless, meaningless, save that we know
that another man in a far away land
stands by the side of a gibbering spark,
punching his message into the dark.

Into the dark of a Summer's night,
and around the world and into the light
of our brilliant Winter day
Speeds the vibrant, quivering ray.

And, caught in the web of sky flung wires,
sinks to earth, chatters, expires;
But before it dies, skillful hands of man
Have torn from it's soul a Marconigram.

Infatuation, by Park Benjamin, from Wireless Age, 1915

O mystic fascination, O fate idealized
I'm but a mass of molecules, reversely polarized.
I'm vanquished by sorcery no amulet can cure,
For love, you are the magnet and I the armature.
The more I circle round you, love's current stronger grows,
Till leaping forth from heart to heart, love's arc electric glows
Against the ardor of that flame insurance won't insure.
For love, you are the magnet, and I the armature.

The messages unnumbered, of fond endearment fly,
At once in all directions, the wireless they out vie.
A throbbing heart is at the key, the dots and dashes sure,
For love, you are the magnet, and I the armature.
I dwell within your field of force, in that blest region where
Your strength is to distance, inversely to the square,
No influence external, can me from you allure,
For love you are the magnet, and I the armature.
At last we'll cling together, apart no more to roam,
With hearts attuned harmonic, we'll sing ohm sweet ohm.
One circuit never broken, while life and love endure,
Forever you the magnet, and I the armature.

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Neal McEwen,