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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Oliver Wendell Holmes's poem Cacoethes Scribendi


  1. Donna says:

    hey this poem was good it showed alot of feelings and the truth is that I write alot of poems and alot of people like them and they tell me I should put them on the enter net, but I don’t want to cuz people might copy them and say they wrote this when they did’t u know what I mean anyways it was a good poem and I liked it well get back to me as soon as u can laters love donna from Dublin High School.

  2. deniz kara says:

    this poem of contest is great!pen,paper,men and ink ,drink all of this word’s mean-Writing and human…First of all we use the computer now ,and ı think that we forgot the pen-paper-and write.
    Almost we’ll forget smell of the paper and ink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.