A poetic ode to whittling 

Image via Wikimedia


Reader Sam D.  passed this along to us. I had a minute and thought I’d share. It is a poem about children and whittling by the poet John Pierpoint (1785-1866).

From Bartleby.com:

A National Portrait

THE YANKEE boy, before he ’s sent to school,
Well knows the mysteries of that magic tool,

The pocket-knife. To that his wistful eye

Turns, while he hears his mother’s lullaby;

His hoarded cents he gladly gives to get it, 5

Then leaves no stone unturned till he can whet it;

And in the education of the lad

No little part that implement hath had.

His pocket-knife to the young whittler brings

A growing knowledge of material things.

There are several more stanzas for those who are interested. Check it out if you are so inclined.

I know I have shared it before but it remains prescient…

It is a shame that popular culture no longer celebrates something as timeless as a boy and his trusty pocketknife.

Instead they are told to sit down and shut up, and behave like little zombies. If they don’t they are too frequently chemically lobotomized until they do.


Just out of curiosity, how many of you still whittle?



  1. Jon says:

    One of the most enjoyable things a person can do outdoors is whittle by a campfire.

    You can blame mass media in the 1990’s/2000’s. A generation of fearful parents that were told that giving their kid a Swiss Army Knife for their tenth birthday would create an antisocial school shooter.

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A poetic ode to whittling 

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