Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 11: Archy the Cockroach, Ambitions, Insignificant

...[Archy the cockroach] embodied both Elwyn's ambitions as a writer and his sense of being small and insignificant, as well as his need to hide from people...

The young E. B. White loved the character of Archy the cockroach created by newspaper columnist Don Marquis.  Archy was a poet reincarnated as a cockroach, and White truly identified with Archy's poetic endeavors and low self-esteem.  The future author of Charlotte's Web struggled with the urge to be read and his almost pathological shyness.

I'm not a shy person, but I do struggle with ambition.  I tend to suffer from bouts of extreme jealousy.  Nobody is safe.  Favorite authors.  Friends.  Colleagues.  In my life, I have lots of writer friends.  Some of them are fantastic and deserve all the attention they receive.  Others are mediocre and still receive lots of attention.  Most of them have full-time professor gigs at the university.  You can see where this discussion is headed.

I'm tired of being the only poet cockroach that doesn't teach full-time.  I'm tired of being insignificant.  Yet, at the moment, I'm stuck.  I have sometimes had this daydream that I was Robert Frost in a former life.  That would mean that I'm Frost's punishment.  His cockroach.

Saint Marty doesn't find that very comforting.

This guy's probably got tenure

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