Of Ink and Blood

F Scott KeyThe pen is mightier than the sword. A sword can only hack dully against oppression, futile and clumsy against the walls built to contain us and hide truths. A sword can be taken, broken and buried.

A pen, on the other hand, is a fuse that can burn as long as needed to explode the same walls into dust. Every pen needs a writer to ignite it.

In 1814, Francis Scott Key was that writer that set the world aflame with his words. Aboard a British ship to retrieve a friend, he wound up watching the British bombardment of Fort McHenry over night. As the sun rose over the water, the exhausted Key was relieved to see the American flag still flying over the battered fort.

StampIn a moment of inspiration, he penned the words that would later be known as “The Star Spangled Banner,” an anthem that has represented a nation and fueled the spirit of independence. Before him, his compatriots spilled their blood to defend their ideals. Key spilled ink across parchment to honor them.

This Fourth of July, as the fireworks break open the sky with bright, riotous display and bar-b-ques keep things hot on the ground, give thanks to the writer who put words to a nation’s passionate refusal to bend to tyranny.

Words inspire us, energize us and move us to move. A shout fades, a fist tires, but words remain as long as there are eyes to read and minds to comprehend. Appreciate your writers, because they both prompt and record history—and good to have on your side.

Happy Fourth of July!

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher, and author with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She co-publishes Space and Time magazine with author husband Ryan Aussie Smith. For more information visit SpaceandTime.net
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2 Responses to Of Ink and Blood

  1. A perfect post for this weekend and very inspiring. Thanks!

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