Poetry Prompt #143

National Ballpoint Pen Day

There’s a saying that “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Before ballpoint pens, people used fountain pens—pens that needed to be dipped or refilled with ink and whose sharp points worked only on paper. If you wanted to write on any other surface (wood, coarse wrapping paper, leather) you were out of luck.

The first patent for the ballpoint pen was issued in 1888 to John J. Loud, a leather tanner who often needed to write on the leather. This pen had a metal ball for the point (where it got its name!) that couldn’t fall out or in but rolled on the surface. It worked well on leather but was pretty messy on paper. Many years passed before the Biro brothers found a solution for a new sharper point.

In honor of Ballpoint Pen Day and inventions, write a poem about your favorite pen. What does it feel like? What does it look like? What color does it write? What’s the best thing it has ever written?

Set your timer for 7 minutes

Don’t think about it too much; just do it!

Start writing!

Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1400 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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