For those whose work is invisible

I started a habit on Facebook a few days ago of posting a different poem every day. Brittney, a friend from college, has responded by starting her own poem-a-day habit. It’s very cool. This showed up on my Facebook page, and it really hits me where I’m at, because I’ve been feeling particularly invisible as a writer lately. Perhaps it’s because of my latest rejection letter (Boston Theater Marathon, for the second year in a row). Perhaps it’s just a constant state of being as a writer. Whatever it is, it is what it is.

For Those Whose Work Is Invisible

For those who paint the undersides of boats, makers of ornamental drains on roofs too high to be seen; for cobblers who labor over inner soles; for seamstresses who stitch the wrong sides of linings; for scholars whose research leads to no obvious discovery; for dentists who polish each gold surface of the fillings of upper molars; for sewer engineers and those who repair water mains; for electricians; for artists who suppress what does injustice to their visions; for surgeons whose sutures are things of beauty. For all those whose work is for Your eye only, who labor for Your entertainment or their own, who sleep in peace or do not sleep in peace, knowing that their efforts are unknown.
Protect them from downheartedness and from diseases of the eye.
Grant them perseverance, for the sake of Your love which is humble, invisible and heedless of reward.

by Mary Gordon, from the poem series “Prayers”
The Paris Review #151, Summer 1999

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~ by realsupergirl on April 2, 2009.

One Response to “For those whose work is invisible”

  1. Thanks for the poem!

    Interesting coincidence: yesterday, I ran across a fellow software developer’s post on the idea that not only is our work invisible, our tools are too.

    http://www.barneyb.com/barneyblog/2009/04/06/show-me-your-tool/

    (Technically, our work isn’t actually invisible, in that you can print it out. It’s just so abstract that the vast majority of the population wouldn’t know what it meant if they saw it.)

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