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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (04/08/10)

TITLE: The Great Debate
By Linda Payne
04/14/10


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The time had arrived and all were there
in great anticipation.
Sword and Pen would duel it out
in debate, a fierce competition.

Sword went first and flashed a smile
brilliantly silver and bright.
In a deep bass voice, he began to speak,
confident he would win that night:

“In a single stroke I can kill a man,
with an army I conquer kingdoms!
I bring to their knees, powerful kings.
I’m a Legend, a Slayer of dragons!”

The crowd went wild and stomped their feet
for their hero and their champion!
The referee yelled and pounded the desk
and tried to restore some decorum.

With a voice full of power that belied his size
diminutive Pen took the dais.
The crowd was entranced and breathless
as he stood there and held their gaze:

“I, too, can destroy whole kingdoms,
businesses, and reputations.
My words can wound, my words can kill
just like my esteemed opposition.

For I can inflame men’s passions
for good works or for ill.
My words give Sword his orders
to cut and slash and kill.

But, my words can also bring healing,
mercy, justice, and life.
My words can bring peace to conflict
and hope in the midst of strife."

In rebuttal Sword tried to salvage
his negative, blood-thirsty image.
In words of intense emotion
he tried to recoup this scrimmage.

“I fight duels for love and honor,
defending my country and family.
I protect the weak and helpless
from invaders and hateful enemies!”

With humble, reverent dignity
Pen gave his final reply.
His quiet words of wisdom
made the audience weep and cry.

“Greater love has no man
than to give his life for another.
To look in the eyes of your enemy
and call that person your brother.”

The crowd sat stunned, and in silence
pondered Pen’s powerful words.
Such rhetoric and passion
had never before been heard.

They all agreed that while Sword,
had the power to maim and kill,
his impetus to action came
from Pen’s powerful skill.

And though Pen was declared the winner,
his award came with this caveat:
“Words like a sword can be wounding
if spoken without any thought.

So choose words with wisdom and truth,
for they have a power that’s real
to transform, uplift, and encourage,
to redeem, restore, and heal.

For those who live by the sword
will by the sword be cut down.
The poor, persecuted, peacemakers
will inherit the Kingdom of God.”


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This article has been read 432 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 04/16/10
I love this poem. What a great debate!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/18/10
This flows so easily. I long to write poems with the rhythm and apparent ease you show.
Patricia Herchenroether04/18/10
This is really fantastic-wonderful meter, loved the slant used expertly.