Fountain Pens, Ballpoints, Typewriters, Laptops


From The New York Review of Books:

I knew a poet who could only write his poems with a stub of a pencil. Nothing else worked for him as well. His family and friends bought him fountain pens, ballpoints, typewriters, and laptops, but he kept away from them. “It’s like giving a dog a wristwatch for Christmas,” his wife said. Only lead pencils would get him excited. “How come?” friends asked him. Because, he explained, one can chew a pencil all the way down to a stub while thinking what to write next. He also had no use for writing pads, notebooks, and fine stationery. He preferred envelopes of old bills and the backs of leaflets passed out in the streets of New York that advertised quick loans, massage parlors, fortune tellers, and fire sales, though a restaurant menu or a bank deposit slip could serve him just as well.

“The Poet’s Pencil”, Charles Simic, The New York Review of Books