Learn More

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?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

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 :

  • Rookie - 0 Points 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

  • Rookie 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 »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
  2. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Winter Solstice, Jacqueline C Nash
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  8. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. If, Rudyard Kipling

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A little while a little love
The hour yet bears for thee and me
Who have not drawn the veil to see
If still our heaven be lit above.
Thou merely, at the day's last sigh,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. The Dirty Old Man of India, Khushwant Si.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  2. Came I to summer, Nero CaroZiv
  3. Under The Lantern Light I Used To Read, Bijay Kant Dubey
  4. Oh, never more!, Nero CaroZiv
  5. Da Monologue [From 'What The Sentinel Sa.., Joseph Archer
  6. Balances, Smoky Hoss
  7. Alone And Wretched, Muhammad Farhan Ahmed
  8. Missing You, Michael P. McParland
  9. A Wanderer, Noah Body
  10. Adil Jussawalla A Poet Of The Fragmented.., Bijay Kant Dubey
[Hata Bildir]