Out Sick


Ugh, I’m home sick, with prescription drugs and everything, so the blog will be terribly neglected for a few days. I’m not even strong enough to walk the dog, much less concentrate on anything substantive. But I can always share a poem.

Before I got sick I was reading an excellent biography of Jonathan Swift by Leo Damrosch.  I’ll have to wait to get back to that, but yesterday I was flipping through some lighter reading and I was surprised and delighted to see a poem from William Butler Yeats called Swift’s Epitaph.

Yeats wrote this poem based on Swift’s actual epitaph, which Swift wrote in Latin, and which is mounted on a plaque in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. The Yeats version is just beautiful.

Swift’s Epitaph

Swift has sailed into his rest;
Savage indignation there
Cannot lacerate his Breast.
Imitate him if you dare,
World-Besotted Traveler; he
Served human liberty.


The above painting of Jonathan Swift is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 70 years or less.

Pen of the Day: Aurora Optima Blue Auroloide


Aurora Optima Blue/Chrome with fine nib. I filled this Optima for two reasons. First, it seemed like a perfect match for the color of KWZ Azure #3 ink, which I wanted to try. Second, Aurora has announced a forthcoming blue and green Optima 365 limited edition. And I’m tempted. So it’s time to appreciate what I already have.


First, the ink, which is a knockout. Not much shading; great color.


Second, this is such a beautiful pen. So I think that’s that. Phew.

Ink Review: KWZ Dark Brown


KWZ Dark Brown. This is an ink that is so very dark brown it’s essentially black, to me. But it’s not only an attractive lighter black ink, it’s also an astonishingly well-behaved black ink.  Even on very poor papers, and with wide nibs, I could not make it feather even a little.

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One Minute Ink Review: Diamine Carnation


Diamine Carnation. The January “birth flower” is the carnation, and today happens to be the twelfth birthday of Tara, a beloved family member, albeit of the Labrador Retriever persuasion. Diamine Carnation is a great ink to bring birthday cheer, being a sprightly pink that’s surprisingly legible and unsurprisingly happy.

An everyday ink? I suspect that if we all used Diamine Carnation daily, the world would be a better place.

Happy National Handwriting Day, from Someone with Bad Handwriting


January 23 is National Handwriting Day?!

What the what?  Who knew, right?

Since I do like to write by hand, I’ll join in with good wishes.

I hear from a lot of people that they are embarrassed by their handwriting and that’s why they don’t write more.  To be honest, sometimes I wish our pediatrician felt that way — he’s the best doctor ever, but I cannot decipher his scrawl. Pharmacists must take handwriting analysis classes.

And I have terrible handwriting myself.  As you can see above. Sometimes I blame school.  I had to take so many notes, so quickly, that my writing just became terrible.  And it never improved. In fact, I have rotator cuff tendinitis, so it’s gotten worse over the years.

But you know what?  I don’t get overly upset by having terrible handwriting.  People have different talents, and good handwriting isn’t mine.  I still write by hand.

Not writing because my handwriting isn’t very good wouldn’t make any more sense to me than not singing because I’m not a good singer.  In fact, I’m not a good singer, but I love music. So I sing anyway.

I just figure it’s the same with anything: have fun.  Join the party.

So, let’s all write something today by hand.  It’s a red letter day.  (Look at the photo. Groan at the bad pun.)

Pen of the Day: Lamy Al-Star Dark Purple


Lamy Al-Star Dark Purple with medium nib. Ah, the power of a name. I have always slightly disapproved of this pen because Lamy called it “purple,” and it’s just not my idea of purple. But I like it as a maroon or burgundy pen.

Anyway I’m using it to test KWZ Maroon, a very nice ink.


I’ve never really like the Al-Star as much as the Safari.  But it’s starting to grow on me.  Aluminum is neat.


Montblanc Agatha Christie


Is this my nicest pen?  It is the only one that people keep asking about.  It definitely cost the most.  And it is a dream to have it.  So I guess so.

I’m not sure a review of a limited edition pen from 1993 is in any way helpful, so I’ll just post some photos of the pen and write down a few thoughts about it.

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