General Poetry posted July 15, 2020


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A consideration of our definition of success

The Narrow Ladder of Success

by Mary Furlong

The narrow ladder of success
Must be ascended rung by rung
With pauses only to assess
The rivals whom we climb among.

Who shall be first to reach the goal?
Who falls behind as I progress?
Who shall possess it, heart and soul -
The narrow ladder of success?

Can we not find a broad plateau -
An invitation to digress?
plateaus are closed to those who know
The narrow ladder of success.

Oh, do not dream of terraces
Where poetry and art possess
A richness that embarrasses
The narrow ladder of success.

The Renaissance has had its day
And now, it's anybody's guess
How history will judge our way --
The narrow ladder of success.

its clear direction, upward ho,
may earn observers' praise, unless
they sense despair in those who know
the narrow ladder of success.




Write a Kyrielle writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
A kyrielle is made of quatrains that rhyme. Each stanza (that is a quatrain) has a line that repeats, so a line from a previous stanza. That line usually (but does not necessarily have to) be the last line in the stanza. Each line in the poem has eight syllables. There is no limit to the number of stanzas. Usually there are three or more stanzas. Any type of rhyme scheme can be used. More information and an example.

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© Copyright 2021. Mary Furlong All rights reserved.
Mary Furlong has granted FanStory.com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.