Treasure Island

Marge Piercy

(March 31, 1936 / Detroit, Michigan)

For the Young Who Want To


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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: work, baby, fire, people, poem, friend

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (For the Young Who Want To by Marge Piercy )

Enter the verification code :

  • Res John Burman (4/25/2013 4:10:00 AM)

    That is outstanding, Marge Piercy. I was sent here by my friend Rosemary Nissen - Wade. For once I am glad that I did what I was told! Thank you both. (Report) Reply

  • Marcy Jarvis (9/22/2005 4:00:00 AM)

    I guess you're write, I mean right.
    That's the difference between writers
    and talented writers. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Emotional Hardship, Sandra Feldman
  2. Untouched, Lenny Orlando Camacho
  3. My Mother..., Taimane Fanene
  4. Ignoring Seasons, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  5. Ephemera, Ian Nicholas McDowell
  6. Seeing light in Darkness, Aziz Akrish
  7. Mother! will I not be the saffron spot o.., Dr.V.K. Kanniappan
  8. A Virtual Life, Sandra Feldman
  9. Never Ending Dreams, Lilly Emery
  10. My Soul's Song, Matthew Densley

Poem of the Day

poet Geoffrey Chaucer

The firste stock-father of gentleness,
What man desireth gentle for to be,
Must follow his trace, and all his wittes dress,
Virtue to love, and vices for to flee;
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  7. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. If, Rudyard Kipling

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]