Kaküno Sapphic Stanza

Pilot Kaküno fountain pen with Lewis Putnam Turco's The Book of Forms
Pilot Kaküno fountain pen with Lewis Putnam Turco’s The Book of Forms. Yes, this pen was designed for children. No, the book was not.

Last week, I treated myself1 to a copy of the revised and expanded edition of Lewis Putnam Turco’s The Book of Forms2. Yesterday, while at Mitsuwa Marketplace3 in Costa Mesa, my wife treated me to a Pilot Kaküno4 fountain pen.

These two treats go well together.

I’ve reached the part of Turco’s book which introduces the Sapphic line and the Sapphic stanza5, and because I want to actually learn the material in the book, as opposed to just digesting it, I’ll be spending at least a few days taking winky-nibbed stabs at Sapphic stanzas.

If you’re reading this, I hope you’ll forgive me.

I’m comfortable with iambs6. Trochees7 and dactyls8 feel awkward and weird. “da-DA-da-DA-da-DA-da-DA-da-DA”9 makes perfect sense to me. “DA-da-DA-da-DA-da-da-WTF-DA-da-Da-da” not so much. (That “WTF” always, always follows the dactyl. Always.) My archetypal drummer keeps dropping her sticks, and I don’t particularly like the sound of it.

But I do like that fountain pen!

And, since the pen was in my hand when I started writing…

Pilot Kaküno with handwritten sample of “Kaküno Sapphic Stanza”. If you look closely, you can see the smiley face on the nib.

Kaküno Sapphic Stanza

Fountain flows of ebony staining paper
Winking, smiling up from its steely shoulders
Lilac, white and metal in pudgy fingers
Piloting verses

Here’s to the concept that practice makes… well, at least better.


  1. Lewis Putnam Turco’s The Book of Forms. Samusumi.com. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://samusumi.com/2018/05/10/lewis-putnam-turcos-the-book-of-forms/
  2. UPNE – The Book of Forms: Lewis Putnam Turco. University Press of New England. Accessed 15 May 2018. http://www.upne.com/1611680355.html
  3. Mitsuwa. One of several Japanese markets in Orange County. Accessed 15 May 2018. chttp://www.mitsuwa.com/
  4. Pilot Kaküno. Pilot.co.jp. Accessed 15 May 2018. http://www.pilot.co.jp/products/pen/fountain/fountain/kakuno/
  5. “Sapphic stanza”. Wikipedia. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapphic_stanza
  6. “Iamb (poetry)”. Wikipedia. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iamb_(poetry)
  7. “Trochee”. Wikipedia. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trochee
  8. “Dactyl (poetry)”. Wikipedia. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dactyl_(poetry)
  9. “Iambic pentameter”. Wikipedia. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iambic_pentameter