Literary Walking Sticks
Literary Walking Sticks

Walking sticks and canes are also very useful to authors, poets and song-writers. Here are some of our favourite mentions of walking sticks:

"Then bring me my whangee, my yellowest shoes and the old green Homburg. I'm going into the park to do pastoral dances."
Bertie Wooster in The Inimitable Jeeves, PG Wodehouse

"The crummack she loved so much was a hazel stick, long and slender, with a sheep's-horn handle; it was uncarved and smooth with years of use, curling elegantly back upon her hand. It became a permanent extension of her arm and her eye. It was everything to her, as is a bow to a violinist, and with it she played out the intricate harmonies of her land. It was prop and an extra limb; it was a probe and measure of ground. It lent her authority over her beasts, eased her over fences and ditches, and steadied her gaze. Its smooth comfort caressed the folds of her hand."
from Song of the Rolling Earth, Sir John Lister-Kaye

"The best, the most exquisite, automobile is a walking stick; and one of the finest things in life is going on a journey with it."
Robert Coates

"Nothing remains from that first day in Germany but a confused memory of woods and snow and sparse villages in the dim Westphalian landscape and pale sunbeams dulled by clouds. The first landmark is the little town of Goch, which I reached by nightfall; and here, in a little tobacconist's shop, the mist begins to clear. Buying cigarettes went without a hitch, but when the shopkeeper said, "Wollen Sie eninen Stocknägel?", I was all at sea. From a neat row of them in a drawer, he picked a little curved aluminium placque about an inch long with a view of the town and its name stamped in relief. It cost a pfennig, he said. Taking my stick, he inserted a tack in the hole at each end of the little medallion and nailed it on. Every town in Germany has its own and when I lost the stick a month later, already barnacled with twenty-seven of these plaques, it flashed like a silver wand."
A Time of Gifts, Patrick Leigh Fermor

"Lastly...leant the heavy, beautifully-balanced Hungarian walking stick, given me on the Alföld, carved all over with a twisting pattern of oak leaves: a bit showy, but better than the lost ashplant from Sloane Square that I had set out with, encrusted by shiny aluminium Stocknägel, those little figurative plaques that stationers in all German and Austrian towns supply to the Wanderer. It would have become a glittering and embarassing wand by now, of which I would have been thoroughly sick but sentimentally unable to discard. I had a great fetishistic regard for its supplanter." The Broken Road, Patrick Leigh Fermor

"Big Jim was no one's fool, he owned the town's only diamond mine,
He made his usual entrance, looking so dandy and so fine,
With his body guards and silver cane and every hair in place,
He took whatever he wanted to and he laid it all to waste."
Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts, Bob Dillon

"Take away my high hats
Take away my favorite tie
Take away my white spats
I'll still get by
But my walking stick
You simply must let that be
I mean you can't take that away from me:
Without my walking stick, I'd go insane
Can't look my best, I'd feel undressed without my cane."
from My Walking Stick, song by Irving Berlin

"Beware the man who will not engage in idle conversation; he is planning to steal your walking stick."
William Emerson

"Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before. It was a fine, thick piece of wood, bulbous-headed, of the sort which is known as a "Penang lawyer." Just under the head was a broad silver band nearly an inch across. "To James Mortimer, M.R.C.S., from his friends of the C.C.H.," was engraved upon it, with the date "1884." It was just such a stick as the old-fashioned family practitioner used to carry, dignified, solid, and reassuring."
opening paragraph, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"When you have no companion, look to your walking stick."
Albanian proverb

"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
Theodore Roosevelt, quoting a West African proverb.