Simple Six Dot Sequence


His father’s face showed fright;

child-curious, Louis fatefully

played with sharp workshop awl,

accidentally scratched cornea;

infant internship fully blinded.

“Why this deep dark, daddy?”

his plaintive query stung pride…

did ever-mindful mother berate

that fallible self-accusing father?


Tight-gripped, lovingly-crafted

cane now guided this blind boy

on country lanes and village paths;

free-spirited his sense of adventure.

Boarding-school then mentored

the imaginative adolescent, inventor;

adopted the cryptic night writing

patterned print adapted, improved.


Morse-code freed the sightless

with a simple six dot sequence,

thick paper awl-pummelled,

embossed by abstract alphabet,

brains baptised, Braille bolstered:

finally all books opened, unsealed.


Blinded in both eyes as a result of an early childhood accident, Braille mastered his disability while still a boy. He excelled in his education and received scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth. While still a student, at the age of fifteen, he began developing a system of tactile code, inspired by the military cryptography of Charles Barbier.  “Braille” allowed blind people to read and write quickly and efficiently.


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