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Poetry Friday: “Pencils”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllAs I was looking over this year’s poems, wondering which I should share today, I happened upon this one.

I wondered if I should post it because it feels different from some of the other children’s poetry I’ve written, and I debated with myself if it was done, if it was good, if it was anything.  Being the type who can debate with himself at length, a draw was declared with no discernible winner.  So I did what any self-respecting writer would do.

I revised!

And truth be told, I still don’t know if it’s done, good, or anything. But I do know that I wrote it on 5-9-13 and revised it on 9-5-13…so I’ll take that as a little sign that I’m supposed to share this today. Plus, with the kids back in school now, it’s timely, at least.

Hope you like it! (And I hope it’s done) For today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup – and one of my favourites from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – be sure to visit Laura at Author Amok!

shutterstock_96665545 (colored pencils)“Pencils”

That’s what we are,
you and I
and the lady at the store
and that short kid
with the glasses
we met
during lunch.
Different colors,
each one capable
of our own kind of
and filled with stories
yet to be written.

– © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine


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24 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Pencils”

  1. Very nice, Matt! Yes, we are all pencils. We all have that same core on the inside. Thanks for sharing!

  2. If you’re not sure if it’s done, I know a place where you could get some feedback on it! ;)

    I’m not sure which I like more, the poem or your inner monologue about the writing/posting of it! Thanks for the smiles!

    • Thanks, Renee! I know of “a place,” too – but I have other poems I want to share, and I’m still trying to get caught up on the critiques I need to give, first. (Just a couple more, and I’ll be set – so be prepared!)

  3. Matt, your poem reminded me of the W.S. Merwin poem “The Unwritten.” Both your poem and that one would make a great prompt for the classroom.

  4. A perfect poem for what I feel as the school year is about to begin – the anticipation of a new crop of students ready to tell their stories, and discover how.

    • Thanks, Tara…I was hoping it might provide some support or inspiration to kids who may ‘not’ feel so excited about school. I remember what it was like to not feel good on the inside.

  5. Love it! Pencils are perfect for poets because they come with erasers.

  6. I do like this Matt. Lots of stories, indeed… to be written, and drawn, and colored too!

  7. Matt,
    I love the magic inside, the metaphor is there. Lovely, thank you for sharing.

  8. Like it, Matt! Here’s a possibility:
    “each one full
    of our own kind of
    yet to be written”

    • You know what, I actually ended up revising it again after I posted it – and the new version is very similar to that! I replaced ‘capable of’ with ‘filled with’ and then removed the original’filled with.’ Great minds, as they say!

  9. Oh, yes. Reminds me of the feelings I have when I set out new school materials for my students. The scent of fresh crayons, the bright yellow pencils and the oh so beautiful markers juicy and ready to create.

  10. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly-sharpened pencils and the way they scratch quite noisily on paper. Sweet sound. :)

  11. Pingback: Friday Nite Poetry: Dusting Them Off For 9/6/13 | Hand of Ananke

  12. I like it! I was totally following along with the metaphor but then you got to the line about how we have stories within us and that just made it all tie together. I love that. I’ve been talking to people who don’t get Twitter lately and so many will say, “Who cares what I ate for lunch or what I’m doing every second of the day?” but the more I think about it, people do care. I mean, someone cares. Someone is curious what you’re up to, the story you are telling. Thanks for sharing this!

  13. Very nice, Matt, appropriate for the school season just commencing!

  14. maryleehahn on said:

    LOVE! Will share with my new “box” of “pencils” (aka 5th grade class) — all so very different and beautiful!!

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