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Have you always wanted to be a writer? Have you stopped dreaming and started writing? This charming poem by Stephen Dobyns appeared in the April 9, 2012 issue of The New Yorker. It is about the dream of being a writer and having the determination to start writing.


~by Stephen Dobyns

Cabbage—the first word put down

with his new pen, a trophy pen,

like a trophy wife, not cheap,

absurd to use a ballpoint pen


for a task like this, a challenge,

for which he’d also bought a new,

but ancient, rolltop desk recently

restored, with matching chair,


also not cheap, and for which he’d

renovated the attic room with

pine-panelled walls, bookshelves,

and good light for his new office


or weekend office, a place planned

for many years, even before college,

back in high school in fact, a resolve

rare in his life, but about which


he’d dreamed in free moments

at his office, and which kept him

sane during those tedious years

of doing the taxes of strangers,


but now at last begun, excitingly

begun, as he leaned forward with

pen raised to put down on paper

the first word of his first novel.