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Cacoethes Scribendi by Oliver Wendell Holmes


"Cacoethes Scribendi" is a poem written by Oliver Wendell Holmes. To better know what this poem is truly about, it is best to know what the Latin phrase "Cacoethes Scribendi" means in English. It is translated as "insatiable desire to write". Of course, after reading the poem, you might have been able to figure that out. Nonetheless, it is important to know since it describes what Holmes was meaning. Some writers, such as Holmes, love to write and will write no matter what and for as long as they can.

This one stanza poem consists of twelve lines. It is written in heroic couplets (rhyming couplets in iambic-pentameter).


Cacoethes Scribendi

If all the trees in all the woods were men;
And each and every blade of grass a pen;
If every leaf on every shrub and tree
Turned to a sheet of foolscap; every sea
Were changed to ink, and all earth's living tribes
Had nothing else to do but act as scribes,
And for ten thousand ages, day and night,
The human race should write, and write, and write,
Till all the pens and paper were used up,
And the huge inkstand was an empty cup,
Still would the scribblers clustered round its brink
Call for more pens, more paper, and more ink

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