Monday, 22 August 2011

For the Young Who Want To

Loving this poem by Marge Piercy.  Seen via a comment by Jane over at Pilgrim's Moon.  (Oh, and I *am* going out for a job interview tomorrow to "get a real job" ... but only if it gives me space to write :)



Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.

Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.

Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don't have a baby,
call you a bum.

The reason people want M.F.A.'s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else's mannerisms

is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you're certified a dentist.

The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved

4 comments:

  1. that's a great poem, shall have to check out Marge Piercy

    may your interview go well
    and if you decide its a good fit
    may the job be yours

    ReplyDelete
  2. woah, that's lime green alright!
    getting in early for spring are we ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad you both liked it :)

    Yeah, Kel, it's pretty uber lime green, isn't it. Does it kill your eyes?

    ReplyDelete

About Me

I'm Sue. I'm a writer and a thinker, and I veer from whining to exulting about a mishmash of topics on this blog ~ from creativity to the future to spirituality to health issues. I have had chronic fatigue syndrome/pyroluria for the past 14 years so there's a bit of whining.

I also venture into the territory of pondering God on here, though I have never known what that/she is, and I know now even less than I did before. I'm even cool with there being no god at all. I find fundamentalists in whatever part of life to be ultra tiresome. I once would have called myself a Christian but I have never held to any kind of organised religion. I think religion is really ultimately about story.

But then, I tend to think everything is about story.

I hold the belief that one day scientists and mystics will meet in the centre of the room and kiss each other, and discover they have been exploring the same thing all along.

Please feel free to drop me a line at susieq777@dodo.com.au or share your thoughts in the comments.

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