Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword

A pen. A mere writing implement. A pen and what it can do... a simple devise but the power it welds is amazing. A pen is so important that banks and other government offices chain them to desks and counters. Students take notes with a pen.

A simple pen. Did you know Anne Frank considered her pen her best friend, since she could use it to write in her infamous diary and record all her thoughts and dreams, her fears and desires? She even called her pen a Special Friend and wrote an ode to the pen in her diary.

A pen is also used in the one of my favorite movies of all times, Say Anything. Diane Court gave Lloyd Dobbler a pen when she broke up with him and later in the film he said,, "I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen." And in the next to last scene of the movie, Diane gives her father, who is in prison, a pen and tells him to write to her.

A pen can be simple or fancy. Johnny Depp is one of the spokesmen for Mont Blanc, a fountain pen that can cost hundreds of dollars used by the rich, famous and powerful. There are stick Bic pens that are 10 for $1. There's my favorite pens which are Pilot V Razor Points, an 8 pack in a variety of colors for $10.

The pen makes everyone equal. It can be a poison pen or a kind one. Think of the quill and ink that Shakespeare used to scribe all his famous plays and poems. Anyone can scratch a list on a napkin or paper sack, address an envelope, write a letter or in a journal, or sign a contract. Pens can be used by a jailhouse lawyer to write out pleas, the famous authors can scribe the Great American Novel, or even the most common of us can write a poem, or record a whimsical thought while gazing out a window.

History has been recorded because of the power of the pen. The pen allowed soldiers to send thoughts and emotions across oceans and countries, carrying their thoughts and fears and news on the front. And those back home could send thoughts and prayers and well wishes in return. There are books of letters from soldier and those at home collected together... letters that survived as pen to paper thoughts, still recorded for all because of the magic ability to commit words to paper. Love letters between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, and Napoleon and Josephine have survived hundreds of years, letting us, even now, in on their romance. Oral tradition was replaced by the written word and ideas melted onto paper as the words flowed.

And now, we have computers, technology. The keyboard is replacing the beloved pen, the former best friend of the writer. Out with the old and in with the new... and now many say good bye to the beloved pen. But not me. I keep my trusty pen with me. While enjoy using my keyboard, my pen will be my own forever friend...

Pen in hand,


Curley said...

That's cool!

Wiley said...

I love pens. I will never give up my best friends and stalwart companions. I collect fountain pens and it gives me such a kick to uncap them and put them to use - whether for a letter or notes at work or a shopping list. My brother gave me some beautiful paper for my birthday and, in fact, I'm going to put aside this keyboard and write a letter with a proper writing instrument right now.

sam said...

Wow, 529 words on a simple pen.

Not too shabby! Good post.


Maggie said...

Curley- thanks!

Wiley- I keep looking at fountain pens at the stationary store or the stationary section of Barnes & Noble but still haven't bought one- though I just might. I love a good pen and thick fancy paper.

Patti- you counted? LOL- love you!

And thanks for all the comments; I've been wondering where you've been!

Bragger said...

I have my favorite pens that I refuse to loan out. I buy other pens for that, but my favorite ones are sacred.

My former brother-in-law worked as a deputy/guard at a local county jail, but a very large one. When his brother made fun of him because they didn't give him a gun, he took out his pen and said, "This is the only weapon I need." I thought he meant he could stab them with that too, but he meant all he had to do was write them up.....

Maggie said...

bragger- when i had my own classroom, i had a cup of special pens that i actually kept in a desk drawer so the kids couldn't use them, and now I have a few I keep in a bag since I'm a traveling classroom.

And your former bro-in-law sounds like a smart guy, for stabbing or writing them up! :)