Sid Roth: Ode to an Ordinary Object


Sid Roth joined my Tuesday night writing class with his father on the “new student special.” I loved his response to the prompt, “Ode to an Ordinary Object,” and thought it was particularly fun when paired with his classmate’s response (see below). 

Mr. Pencil, your uses are many. I know your ancestry; perhaps your humble beginnings from tree and mountain deep reflect your strength and resilience, and the strength and resilience you lend to me. I know the other humans despise you; they say your glyphing is faint and your point is weak. It is, however, your inner integrity and inflexibility that makes you most valuable to me. Pens, they either work or they do not. I know your failure will come as you openly disclose it; your length describes your time left among the living.

The question must be asked, in your favor as it is, ‘Why it is people think pens are superior?” The pen was invented first, and as such the natural course proved the Pencil as the successor. Truly those are fools, who turn their back on you in favor of inky inconsistency, just as those are fools who set their mistakes in stone. You Pencil, are an embodiment of the very trees, who you protect by being erasable. This way, the paper is saved, without needing a new one. This is not so fallacious, the creation of one wooden Pencil to rescue countless sheets of paper from inky demise.

Finally, Mr. Pencil, you are infallible. No sun drying your ink will stop your will, the water of the oceans only stops your strength as the result of the weakness of the page. If paper functioned beneath the blue waves, a pen would prove a squid black mess of darkness.

Even in space, Mr. Pencil, did the Russians make use of you when pens wouldn’t suffice? You see, without sufficient gravity, the pen’s capillary is blocked. You are useful, a wonderful device, Pencil, and surely your splendor cannot be outdone. When sharp, you are a dart, a fun toy. You can puncture the stubborn plastic packaging of new goods. When broken, you can be rehabilitated. Your usefulness and robust design are good enough for anyone, Pencil, and among writing utensils, no others can match your fearsome resolve to work.

Sid Roth is a student at Monterey High School. His love of writing comes from years of his parents forcing him to read books with words he didn’t understand in the books. Loves romanticism and dark romanticism.

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