Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Pen and Paper (07/17/14)
TITLE: INSTRUMENTS OF INFLUENCE
By Carol Hind
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Pen and Paper - two unremarkable items in and of themselves, particularly when used for mundane tasks such as making a shopping list, or completing a form, yet when placed in the hands of a gifted, passionate writer they can produce sublime results.
Indeed, had it not been for these two items, the range of compositions (in the form of poems & pamphlets, diaries & documents, letters & other literary texts) would not have been preserved for posterity.
Today we can enjoy the creative contributions of illustrious men and women throughout the ages. Writers, such as William Shakespeare with his plays and sonnets, or Virginia Woolf with her novels and essays, have contributed to the sumptuous fare of literary delights.
We can avail ourselves of centuries of accumulated wisdom, cultural opinions, historical facts and diverse theories. Whether writer, reader, religious enquirer or lifelong learner, there’s a plethora of pertinent texts available - to equip, educate or entertain.
Were it not for pen and paper, or their equivalent in earlier/latter days (here read quill and parchment, keyboard and screen), the canon of both familiar and unfamiliar works would most likely have been lost in the annals of literary history. Fortunately, irrespective of whether writers hail from the BC or AD eras, we can engage with and appreciate the rich tapestry of authorial achievements – feminist or misogynist musings, satirical or scholastic works, didactic or theological texts and numerous novels of various genres.
Pen and Paper - together, in the right hands, can become an invaluable tool for influence. If you are familiar with the following saying: “the pen is mightier than the sword”, then you are probably aware of the quote’s intended meaning – unlike one facetious person who quipped: “whoever wrote this has not been stabbed with either!”
A pen (or other instrument for writing) is wholly useless however, without paper on which to capture one’s thoughts or feelings. Without paper, the potential to advise, inform, persuade or even warn would be greatly reduced or utterly lost. If not for the recorded writings of Oscar Wild, how would we know (and therefore be warned) about the depths of degradation to which a dissolute soul may sink? If not for the preserved offerings of John Donne, how could we empathise with the angst-ridden sentiments of his Divine Poems? If not for the enshrined epistles of St. Paul how could we as fellow saints appreciate his expositions, grasp godly precepts and align our lives with Kingdom truths?
Thankfully, manuscripts from Medieval or Modernist times, writings from the Renaissance era and publications from Post-colonial and contemporary ages bear testament not only to the power of the pen but also to the indispensable partnership of both paper and pen.
Whilst some believe that the pen grants authors immortality, one cannot deny it is the paper that provides a platform from which those immortal voices may be heard.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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