June 2nd, 2016

Success

...In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

                                --Edwin Arlington Robinson

    Richard Cory - Poetry Foundation

A friend asks: How do you measure success in life?   What is success?

Perhaps everyone will have his or her own answer.
At least i will not answer for another
or let them answer for me.

:"Richard Cory" (if he existed) was successful
by the standards of his place and time.

Most people who are successful
in this place and time
are really lousy role models for the rest of us,
and i would not trade places with any of them.

I was not successful,
a second rate teacher, unpublished, unpromoted.
a mediocre parent, a lousy husband
too selfish, too arrogant,
a very badly stained image of my creator.

But students said they learned from me.
Wife and children said they loved me.
i will not go home
and put a bullet through my head.