Thursday, November 06, 2008

A delightful little tidbit . . .

I read this thoughtful little poem this week. It speaks to me. Can you tell why?

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.

. . .

The reason people want M.F.A.'s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniquer,
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 . . .

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
liek it better than being loved.

Excerpts from "For the Young Who Want To" by Marge Piercy, quoted in 100 Essential Modern Poems By Women.


Reluctant Nomad said...

Reminds me of Naipaul's Novel speech (one of my favorite speeches. ever) where he ends with this, "Talen, Proust says. I would say luck, and much labor.'

Reluctant Nomad said...

That should be Nobel. And it should also be Talent. WOW, that was out of the ballpark.

Michelle said...

love that-- thanks, it speaks to me too. I often wonder how many articles I need to publish before I decide I'm really a writer. Thanks for the answer.

Anonymous said...

Great poem -- except for the part about having to work. ;)

trublubyu said...

i was on google checking something out and came upon a link to your blog. it intrigued me because of the title. i recognized it instantly from "what's up doc?" that is one of the best movies- EVER!

i think this means i will have to check back in periodically.

oh, and just wondering: do you have howard's rocks?

Melinda said...

This poem speaks to me, too. Someone asked me what I was studying at BYU. I said I was studing to become a writer. I always get blank stares when I tell people that. What does it take to feel validated? I don't know.

Also, I love to be loved. This made me wonder if that was my end goal? Hmmmm.

Good thoughts. Also, I miss you! We need to get together!!!