Introduction

“The Pencil’s Story,” a symbolic poetry by Florence Hoatson, emphasizes how even seemingly little items may help us learn valuable lessons about life. A pencil in the poem by the name of H and B is narrating its own journey. Just as our journey begins at birth and concludes with death, this poem is the saga of the pencil’s journey from the mantelpiece to the holder. The purpose of life is the poem’s primary focus.

About The Poet

On October 13, 1881, Florence Hoatson was born in Leyton, East London. Her publications show her professional focus, including The Palace of Gifts and other Primary Stories (1925) and Three Christmas Plays for Children Under Ten Years (1929). In 1925, she released The Little White Gate and Lavender’s Blue, two  of her own poetry collections.

Theme Of The Poem

The author of this poem is trying to convey that we should live similar to that of a pencil. When a pencil is sharpened, it endures pain in order to become more purposeful. Even if it gets smaller the more it is used, it will still leave a mark on whatever or whenever is written with it. This suggests that one learns more from difficulty the more of it they go through.

Stanza 1

I am a little pencil and my name is H and B, 
I lie upon the mantlepiece for everyone to see; 
I’m handled forty times a day, it is a weary life, 
And when my wits are rather dull I’m sharpened with a knife!  
  

The pencil identifies itself as H and B. The journey of the H and B pencil starts when it is a little pencil and is visible to everyone by sitting on the mantelpiece. It is utilized about 40 times every day. It thus feels extremely worn out from living its current life. He is sharpened once again using a knife when he becomes blunt so that he may be used once again.

Stanza 2

I scrawl when Tommy has me, and I draw all sorts of things, 
From submarines and aeroplanes to cabbages and kings; 
I write a lovely letter when Miss Phvllis is about, 
And if by chance I make mistakes Miss Phyllis rubs them out.

When Tommy uses him, the pencil makes scribbles. He draws anything from kings and cabbages to missiles and airplanes. Father uses it to track game scores, mother uses it to make her laundry list, and Miss Phyllis uses it to pen lovely letters.

Stanza 3

And if I slip and tumble down I’m certain to be missed, 
For mother wants me badly when she does the washing-list, 
And Father makes me keep the score when he begins to play 
I’m just a little pencil, but I have a busy day.

But if the pencil falls and slides, he will undoubtedly be missed. Father has him record the score when he starts to play, and Mother needs him desperately when she does the laundry list. Although he is just a tiny pencil, he still has a very busy day.

Stanza 4

I really never am allowed to grow up as I ought, 
I’m getting shorter everyday (it’s awful to be short).
And when the knife begins on me I ache in every joint, 
I put it in that way because you’re sure to see the point. 

The pencil, however, is unhappy since it is forced to be sharpened constantly, preventing it from ever growing. Each day, it gets shorter. It is necessary for the point to be sharp, so the knife maintains silence as it starts to sharpen, which is really unpleasant. The pencil, though, is really pleased with its success.

Stanza 5

I’m very glad I’m useful, though my speech is always dark, 
But every time they handle me I always make my mark! 
But sorrow seems to follow me in spite of many a friend, 
For when I’m meditating I am bitten at the end.   

Despite having dark lettering, it is incredibly handy and leaves a mark with each use. When the pencil runs out of length and is no longer useful, it reaches the holder at the conclusion of the poem. The life of the pencil comes to an end there.

Stanza 6

I am a little pencil, and my name is H and B, 
I lie upon the mantlepiece for everyone to see; 
I’m getting shorter every day, and every day I’m older, 
And when my last few hours have come they’ll put me in a holder!

The pencil is getting older and becoming shorter every day. And they’ll put him in a holder when his final few hours arrive!