All men, equal?

How dare you

indoctrinate so many

with lies!

I write daily

and have yet to

find the Yates,

Whitman or Frost

within me.

I languish.

I toil.

I starve

to be equal to

these giants.

Some find their voice –

imprint on humanity

their works of genius.

Meanwhile, others,

like me, find

that we are not equal

to the masters.



Some are quickened

with a gift that

we mere mortals

will never obtain.



About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on November 28, 2014, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. Nice and honest. Good one. You know the classical poets, they had education and opportunities for learning, we could only imagine. I think this is a fine example of a modern poem with modern intelligence. Run with it and hang your nuts over the board.

    • Thank you so much! We call all attempt to self-educate by reading voraciously from every writer possible but eventually it comes down to exactly what you said – put your work out there, let it be seen, and see what happens. Again thank you for the comment. Nice to meet you.

  2. Truly!! Love all of these words!!!

  3. Dammit that was awesome! Well said man

  4. Nice to meet you as well. I look forward to reading more from you.

  5. “quickened with a gift…” I like it. Interesting perspective.

  6. My heart raced and my toe tapped to your words. Equality with GIANTS I will take walking in their shadow any time. Well done keep your quill a moving.

  7. Excellent! I just keep believing my works will astound, post mortem 😉

  8. Love the poem, but I have to say, I have a copy of a Walt Whitman book, and he’s not any better than you, he’s just different from you. We need both you and Walt and me and everyone else, with our experiences and insights shared in our own unique ways. Be you, don’t be an imitation. Okay? 🙂

    • That’s a great point! Each of us has a unique tale to tell and our own way of telling it. If we can find our way and unleash all that lies inside of us maybe we’ll find what we seek. Thanks! It’s great to meet you.

  9. I enjoyed the poem. No matter how much I read of the masters, and try to learn from my betters, I am always going to be looking up to them.

    • We may all remain in that position of looking up to and at them. To find that audience in life that enjoys what we do is the ultimate. Thanks for the comment! Nice to meet you.

  10. We all have only 26 letters to put together. It’s how we arrange them that makes the mark. You have made your mark. You cannot compare yourself to the others because you have different experiences, different exposures. And you are different. You have a unique voice and I am grateful you are sharing it!

  11. Completely love this poem. I certainly have wondered if I am just too sane or sober to ever be able to write like those who came before me that I so admire.

    • Thank you for the comment and for dropping by! I’ve wondered if sober is the way that I should write. Allowing myself to go to strange or dark places might bring out something I couldn’t have written otherwise. It’s nice to meet you!

  12. Brilliantly written… Agree like everyone else stunning truthful and on pointe like a ballerina taking flight to a marvellous jeté. ❤

  13. hi ,
    First of all Thank you for liking the poem and following my blog , looks like you are very actively invovled in wordpress. I would to like say on your poetry that they do present great vertical and horizontal depths but always do end abruptly .

    • You’re welcome of course. Thanks for visiting and for commenting! I do have the habit of ending abruptly. Much of what I post here on the blog is experimental so I take a lot of liberties with structure.

  14. Enjoyable to read, and extremely well said. Thank-you.

  15. Wow! Great and so true. I read books a lot, sometimes look up authors and how old they were when they started writing…this poem expresses how I feel at such times 🙂

    • It’s so easy to feel that we can never reach the level of the greats. I certainly do. I’ve resigned myself to being who I am and hopefully writing one or two memorable poems that live long after I do. Thanks for the comment! Great to meet you!

  16. No need to worry about “equal” or not. It’s all in the interpretation.

  17. Interesting take on equality. There is always someone more talented, wittier, etc. if you dwell on never measuring up, you will never write, and we all have something to offer.

    • I agree. Each of us has something to offer – whatever that “something” is. My goal will always be to measure up to the greats but I know if I fall short, or even far short, I’ll know I worked at it and gave it everything I had.

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