Posted by: Jim | April 25, 2007

Found Poem

Thanks to The Curmudegeon in Training, who I just knew would know the answer. He knew it immediately. I had messed up the first line, which is why I couldn’t Google it.

It’s by Theodore Roethke. This is the kind of post that yields zero readership or comments. But do you know what? I don’t care! 😛

This one goes out to all the corporate wonks out there who understand the dolor of pencils.



I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,
Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper-weight,
All the misery of manila folders and mucilage,
Desolation in immaculate public places,
Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,
The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,
Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,
Endless duplication of lives and objects.
And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,
Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,
Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,
Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,
Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces.



  1. The saddest thing of all is that soon nobody under 40 will even know what a pencil WAS.

    Not to mention the 8-hour day.

    * * *

  2. Ha, I thought you were going to say that soon nobody under 40 will know what a poem is!

    We may already have passed that point. Lovely poem, reminds me why I don’t work in an office.

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