Mini Object Lesson: Email Poetry

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.


I am trying to locate the

If you have it,
please return it

to me.

Good Morning

We are in the process of
a new copier.
In the meantime,
Please be patient
with the copier
we do have.
I know it’s on it’s last

Trying to Meet

Sounds like Thursday lunch is a bust
What does everyone’s schedule look like
Next week?
I’m also available Thursday at 3:30
Unclear, I have this other thing at 2, or 4.
Tuesday 14th lunch is fine with me
Wed 8 11-12 also good
I currently have a meeting 12-1 and 1:30-3
Maybe Friday morning?
I guess you didn’t see the e-mail
I am out of town next week
So, then the week after that?
What about Wednesday after 3?
I should be able to do Wed after 3:30
So it is Wed the 29th At 4
No I think it is 3:30 on the 29th
No, Wed at 4.
You mean tomorrow?
I’ve got a thing until 4:30.
No I think it is 3:30 on the 29th.
Oh yes! That would be
I’ll pencil it in.
Sorry for the confusion.
4pm on the 29th
For a meeting.

If you want to meet at your
Then we need to find
Another time.

Ah okay.
I guess I was confused too.
I just wanted to get an update from you on
The status.
I wasn’t envisioning this as
A social call.
Just more of a
”What's going on”
type of thing.

(Have an existing email that reads like poetry? Email us if you think it’s worth posting.) Update from a reader:


I’m not sure what’s going on
just yet,
but they don’t seem
to be fully refreshing.
If this keeps happening,
I’ll probably
have to remove them.
Please do keep me posted
if you notice
anything strange!