Dear E,

It’s funny. A friend usually starts emails to me with “Dear E,” and another friend with ”Hi, Ms. E.” And here I am writing to you, E.

You are my initial, and the initial of my mother and my grandmother, a few cousins, a daughter in law, and her mother. You show up everywhere!

I’m impressed by your helpfulness and versatility. Just by attaching yourself to the end of a word you can make it feminine. You ‘re available at other times to end a word, which changes how it’s pronounced. You and your fellow vowels work hard to hold all those consonants together. You make the past tense and many plurals possible, and let’s not forget that there would not be comparatives or superlatives without your assistance. You’re busy at the beginning of a lot of words, too, showing us the way out of or away from something.

I love how there are so many ways to say E. Depending on the language you happen to be in, and what kind of stress there is on you, it seems that there are almost endless pronunciations. You can be quiet or forceful, but always pleasing, unlike the harshness of, say, K, or the insistence of Z.

You’re a forward looking letter, stretching out your three arms to see what lies ahead, moving outside the box. A printed E means energy, yet when you’re written in cursive, you’re soft and comforting and very pretty.

All my life you’ve been red. Some of the other letters change their colors from time to time, but you’ve persisted in your eternal redness. You radiate strength and optimism and good cheer.

E! What would we do without you? I’m so glad you’re my letter.

Love, E

2 thoughts on “E by Eleanor Sweeney

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