Thursday, January 19, 2012

You are a Success!

As I  look back at my goals for 2011 and look ahead toward new goals, it is easy to become discouraged. I decided to post a poem by Marge Piercy that reminds me to keep my perspective of what success really is.


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.

Regina Gort


  1. Thanks for sharing this post. I found it very inspiring.

  2. Gina, Thanks for introducing me to Marge Piercy. The poem is spot on.

  3. Love this! Sometimes I feel a little jealous of friends who are on the "license path." Writing may not have a set path, or real definitions of success, but it's still what I'd rather be doing.

  4. What an apropos poem for all of us who write because we love finding the right words and breathing life into them. Even if our eyes are the only ones who read them, they live!

  5. Excellent.Thought-provoking. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks for posting. Love it. It's a great reminder to do what you love and not worry about the outcome.

  7. * Oh I can soooo relate to many things in that poem! Thanks for posting!
    I've been following Swagger for awhile now and love your posts, so I've nominated you for an award. Hope to share the blog love with others.

    1. Thanks so much Dawn! We are so happy that you are following us. Our story is your story and we are so glad to share our inspirations, triumphs and failures with people who understand!

  8. This is a great post. I'm finding more and more that I can get to the point of saying I'm a writer. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Maybe one of these days you'll feel comfortable shouting it from the rooftop. I hope so.

  9. This is an awesome poem and it is so true. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your Liebster Award

  10. Thanks, Melissa and thanks for following us!

  11. Hi, Gina,
    Marge Piercy's poetry is so true...

  12. This is, I think, my favorite Marge Piercy poem