handwriting..a window into soul

Cursive by J.T. Ratcliff

What does handwriting reveal about the unique twists and turns of one’s own personality or emerging sense of self?

This week the ‘inside’ writers at Chittenden Correctional Facility utilized Katrina Vandenberg’s poem Handwriting Analysis to ponder this, as well as to reflect upon “writing ourselves into the future,” one of the lines from the poem.

I’ve included the creative insights of three writers here:

My writing is curvy and slanted, almost unreadable to everyone else’s eyes.  But to my eyes, I can read it just fine.  My kids say it’s worse.  My boyfriend just guesses, and my mom, not so proud of my penmanship.  But I’ve had it my whole life.  It’s the one thing that I know won’t change in my life, and I wouldn’t want it to.  It’s what defines me.  It’s mine.  -MG

Handwriting: a window into a part of a person that they don’t always reveal.  Who they are, what they think, why they think.  The swoop of an “L” or “W.”  The feeling attached to a letter, the emotion in the words.  The “y” in “why” that tells you why.  The smiley face “i” that says “I am happy” or the scribble of “I was busy today.”  The large letters of fast or young.  The eloquence of days gone by when writing was the measure of a person.  Handwriting – communication when the voice doesn’t tell all.  -LS

I deliberately changed how I wrote capital “M”s after I left school.  I had to form them perfectly according to the cursive writing templates of my youth.  I longed for a messier “M” with greater peaks and valleys in the letter’s formation.  Perhaps an unreadable signature where only the “M” was distinguishable and the rest appeared as a flash, a squiggly lightening bolt across the page.  I got crazy with the “y” in my name too.  I made it loop under itself and then head off the page as if out onto a highway….  My writing has changed as I have grown.  Its quirks and snarks adjust to represent the freer woman I am becoming.   My handwriting visually represents the inner changes that have taken place.  -MR

6 thoughts on “handwriting..a window into soul

  1. Frank Maurovich says:

    Interesting. I’ve never put much stock into psychological analysis of handwriting. I’ve always attributed it to the training (or lack of it) in penmanship training in grammar school. But I’ve often wished I had adopted the logo-style scribble or scrawl used by so many Latin Americansespecially in this day and age when you have to sign and resign so many documents. I like what one of the writers said, “It’s mine, so there!” Frank

    Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2012 15:10:26 +0000 To: fmaurovich28@msn.com


  2. Marybeth says:

    I too enjoyed this writer’s insight, Frank. There is so little to claim as you own or hold onto in a prison system/facility, that I appreciated her strong sense of ownership of her illegible handwriting 🙂 Great to hear from you!


  3. alvaradofrazier says:

    Handwriting and self identity-what an interesting topic. Growing up in Catholic school we actually had class in penmanship and it was fairly rigid-I believe it was the Palmer method. So I particularly identified with the last one, “M,” because I went through similar bouts of making it more interesting; more my own.


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