For the young who want to
Talent is what they say
Work is what you have done
Genius is what they know you
The reason people want M.F.A.’s,
is that every artist lacks
The real writer is one
Copyright 1980, Middlemarsh, Inc.
Today I taught in Ж_________ for two hours after school. No one threw fireworks at us and even the most vicious or painfully shy kids repeated “A is for apple.” I teach two groups, one right after another, the exact same lesson. There are four girls who study in the first group, and then stay and repeat the lesson verbatim in the second group. They don’t get bored. One of them, Iliana, told me her dream is to study at a language school and travel the world, to meet “many different people.” It sounds played-out to Americans, but Iliana lives among many people who have never been west of Shumen, and studies with children who think that England is one of the United States, and that it’s possible to travel from Bulgaria to Miami on a train.
Here’s a poem by Marge Piercy. “Inspirational poem” sounds like something that would be published under a title that begins with Chicken Soup for the... “Motivational poem?” Now I’m thinking of something printed under a photograph of an eagle framed in the waiting area outside the dentist’s office. I guess I’ll go with “Light a Fire Under Your Ass poem.” Piercy’s examples all use writers (that knitting gets the brush-off makes me smirk), but she offers sound advice for anyone with a dream, whether it’s to start a business or a family, or to reform a diseased education system. Truly living your dream doesn’t mean talking about living your dream, getting paid for living your dream, or being remembered for living your dream. It’s the act of working your hardest at what you love the most.