Perseverance {Poem}. ~ A. B. Chesler

Via elephant journal
on May 23, 2012
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“Good things come to those who wait,”

so we pass through Life with a sluggish gait.

We dream our dreams and hope for more,

Often forgetting to go out and explore.

Still, some people give up ‘cuz Life can be hard;

They only hope to finish without getting scarred.


But whatever happened to seizing the day,

And taking the wheel instead of using Valet?!

What about dreaming a dream and taking a shot,

And giving it every last drop that you’ve got?!

You can’t just sit there and fret about pain,

Cuz if you don’t try there’s nothing to gain!


Henry Ford didn’t just sit there and whine!

No; instead he created the assembly line,

But only after he tried for the third time!

And Einstein? The greatest genius ever before?

He couldn’t speak until he turned four!

In Socrates’ time people thought him a crock,

So they forced him to chug a shot of hemlock.

Now, his philosophies are far from dead,

And we can give thanks to Bill & to Ted.

We also give credit to Edison for movies & light,

But his first two employers didn’t think he was bright.

In fact, they canned him without a delay,

‘Cuz they thought his ideas were child’s play.

Oprah has also faced pain & come out on top,

Despite abuse & a career that once flopped.

No one is funnier than the great Lucille Ball,

But she almost gave up ‘cuz her coach’s bad call:

“You can’t act now and you never will!”

But with more effort she was given top bill.

Marilyn Monroe was told she would never get work;

She had “nothing ahead of her but becoming a clerk.”

We know instantly when we see a Van Gogh,

But during his lifetime his sales were quite slow.

In fact, he sold only one painting while still alive,

So he spent his time doing odd jobs to survive.

And let’s not forget our sixteenth president,

A man revered as honest and brilliant.

Although Abraham was not always a hero,

His six election losses never made him a zero.

And my personal champion, the great Doctor Seuss?

He was rejected twenty-seven times without an excuse!


None of these people were ever defeated,

Because their Perseverance was never depleted.

The more that you try is the more that you fail,

Yet the higher the chance that you will prevail.

Thus, Success cannot be defined by loss or by win,

But by seeing the potential that you have within.

So it seems the people who face the most strife,

Have the chance to get the most out of life.

They can see the hurdle and take the leap,

Instead of skating through Life half-asleep.


Editor: Hayley Samuelson


A.B. Chesler is a writer and educator who enjoys seeing the lighter side of Life. Her newest credits include the publication of her short story, “Love You Forever,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul’s most recent edition.  Be sure to check in with her each week on Facebook ( to find a new, humorously uplifting poem posted specifically for you to share with your friends. Enjoy!


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6 Responses to “Perseverance {Poem}. ~ A. B. Chesler”

  1. Jane Tran says:

    This is really patronizing. And of the 12 people she writes about all but one are white and the only women she talks about are models or actresses… This was either written by an 8 year old or by someone living in a suburban white bubble. Disappointed to see Elephant Journal publish this garbage.

  2. Mike Glass says:

    I agree. This is pretty bad. Reminds me of something from those stupid Chicken Soup books from the 90's.

  3. A.B. Chesler says:

    Well, makes sense since I am also a contributor for Chicken Soup. I appreciate the feedback, and also the point that it may not be entirely representative of other racial groups… Wish I had you as my editor before posting! But just as the people I mentioned in the poem, I will persevere and take criticism…. Whether rude or not. Thank you for taking the time to read it! Perhaps instead of being patronizing or belitting others, you could have suggested other people I should have included. An eye for an eye…..

  4. A.B. Chesler says:

    P.S. I'm not too sure Oprah can be viewed as a model or an actress. But thank you again!

  5. Hi, A.B.

    Well, you've discovered our open comments policy, I see. I admire your response.

    I enjoyed your poem very much and I'm sure many others did, too. I would tell you not to be discouraged, but I know I don't need to.

    We look forward to more. Thanks for being here.

    Posted to elephant wellness, elephant work, and my personal facebook & Twitter pages.

    Bob W. Associate Publisher
    facebook, twitter, linkedIn

  6. josh says:

    Hi A.B,
    I'm using your poem for an English project I'm doing, but i cant find info to make a description about the speaker of the poem, i was wondering if you could help me out.

    Like there personalty, lifestyle, gender, age