Sunday, June 19, 2011

Poetry Summer Week 4: Success is Counted Sweetest

IF was the perfect poem to pass off on Father's Day, and it was fun to recite it for my sons (even if I'm not the daddy).

This week's poem comes from a comment on my last poem: Meredith Mansfield suggested this one as a great one for writers. I agreed, so I had to memorize it. :) It's also a great poem for anyone who has failed at something when it was essential to succeed. Failure happens. We can't appreciate victory without it.

Success is Counted Sweetest
Emily Dickinson

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple host
Who took the flag to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory!

As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!

This concept, of course, also applies to our fictional characters. Their victory will be meaningless if they haven't tried and failed to reach it several times before they succeed.


  1. Donna--You should memorize it with me. It's short! :)

  2. What I may do is steal it for a future week. =D

  3. That's very profound and true. Keep it up!

  4. Donna--steal away!

    Krista--Will do! You, too! :)