Friday, November 11, 2011

Poetry Friday: The World Is In Pencil

The World Is in Pencil
by Todd Boss

—not pen. It’s got

that same silken
dust about it, doesn’t it,

that same sense of
having been roughed

onto paper even
as it was planned.

(the whole poem is here, at the Poetry Foundation)

I love this poem so much. I love the world roughed out "even as it was planned." That is so the way I work -- thinking and planning (and revising the plan) and doing...all simultaneously. 

We have a new electric pencil sharpener in my classroom. We named him Mr. Sharpy. Well-sharpened pencils are a joy. (So is enough eraser to allow for risk-taking...) And the smell. I'm betting you can close your eyes right now and remember the smell of a newly-sharpened pencil. (Look at you -- you are lifting a pencil to your nose just to get that fresh wood-and-graphite smell...and now you have a smudge under your nose!)

*      *      *      *      *      *

April has the roundup this week at Teaching Authors.

I completely missed the NaPoPerDayMo for November (who am I kidding...there's no WAY I could write a poem a day this month -- it's crazy enough in April), but I could easily take part in the Teaching Authors' Ten Days of Thanks-Giving, which features the new poetry form, the THANKU (think haiku, guyku, dogku, twaiku/twitku), if for no other reason than "according to a recent study at Kent State University, people who composed short letters of gratitude reported a significant increase in their overall happiness."


  1. I love this! What a perfect image of creation.

  2. What a gift this poem is! I'm in love with "the and and the and"... thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Just wonderful. I can't wait to share with students in workshop. I love that 'O' of the ocean, the act of forming one's words-special!

  4. I saw this in Poetry magazine too. Simple observations that carry so much weight and joy. The pencils remind me of a doodling practice I've been hearing about, Zentangles.

  5. "silken dust" - isn't that true, though? I love writing in pencil - this poem captures why!

  6. Anonymous12:34 PM

    What a lovely poem. I love sharp pencils BUT hate the constant sharpening of the pencils for those who never have them sharp enough. So we use pens in the library. I may try mechanical pencils as an option.

  7. Made me "smile out loud" - thanks for sharing! Love:

    It must’ve

    taken its author some
    time, some shove.

  8. Wonderful concept! Thanks for sharing!

  9. I just love the image of those sharpened pencils - looks so crisp and even. The poem also gives that sense of desire to write write write on a freshly-starched page. Lovely poem. :)

  10. I love this pencil poem too.

  11. What a lovely poem. And yes, I can still smell those pencils, though I rarely use them. I tend to like cheap ball point pens! Thanks for sharing this.


Comment moderation is turned on.