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Poem: 26 Miserable Failures

26 Miserable Failures
by Jonathan Kraft

Churchhill failed his first time at 6th grade,
maybe that’s something you already knew.
He failed every public office run for, ‘cept
prime minister at the age of sixty-two.

Edison was simply “too stupid to learn.”
Imagine if he had listened and shirked.
Instead, worked on thousands of failed lightbulbs
before finding the one solution that worked.

Colonel Sanders’ recipe for now famous chicken,
something that he just simply could not sell.
But after 1,000 storied rejections came
Kentucky Fried Chicken – the stories he could tell.

And the New York Macy’s was historical
In all of the giant losses that were made.
Imagine if RH had given up his dream.
Would anyone know the (now) famous parade?

Steven Spielberg wanted to attend USC.
Three times he went there, three times he applied.
He never was accepted to their film school,
But life-changing movies he creates with pride.

Chaplin was told that his little act
was simply just a little too obscure.
but when some executives went out on a limb,
they found a real winner for sure.

Marilyn Monroe, if you can believe it,
was told that she wasn’t pretty enough.
But most of the world knows her name,
because she kept on showing her stuff

Honda was passed, when a job came up,
and that company left him unemployed.
He started a company, producing bikes and cars,
vehicles so many people have enjoyed.

Vera Wang, skater, not Olympics bound
was also passed for Vogue’s editor-in-chief.
So now she’s gown designer #1.
Her designs now showing on the front page leaf.

Walt was told that he “lacked imagination
and had no good ideas” to share.
But Snow White, and Mickey, and Donald Duck
are pretty much known nearly everywhere.

Einstein held his tongue until age four.
His teachers called him really quite slow.
Well, E equals M C squared, he showed.
Maybe light speed’s fast enough to go?

Darwin was mostly average when
he was studying medicine in school,
but when getting into outdoor’s glory,
he helped us discover a natural rule.

Sir Isaac ran the family farm
and at that he failed quite miserably.
But we know his name and worldwide fame
because of an apple that fell from a tree.

Whether you like this man or not
as a student he failed out of Yale twice.
Failing Cheney found second position,
not as president, but he was the vice.

Jerry is known as a great comedian, but
“off the stage!” was booed out loud.
One of the most loved sitcoms ever,
Seinfeld now gets to laugh with the crowd.

Fred Astaire at his first screen test
“Dances okay, kind of bald,” somewhat boring.
Well, he got the better of that situation
when out in the rain, got to dance and sing.

Just “go be a dishwasher or something”
This said by Sidney’s first auditioner.
But with his movies came awards and admiration.
See Portier in “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner”?

Winfrey was told she simply wasn’t fit
to be on the screen and wouldn’t be re-hired.
Now the undisputed queen of TV Talk,
through her, millions have been inspired.

And Lucille spent a great deal of time
sitting B-Listed for a great many roles.
But laughter ensues, every time she’s on
as she runs about, pokes, prods, and cajoles.

Ford was told that he never would succeed
from an early producer, (now) in the unknowns.
But the roles he’s played have won him great fame,
like captain Han Solo and Indiana Jones

Painting from a man, famous for his ear,
the only one he sold, to a friend, quite a catch.
Van Gogh in his lifetime was misunderstood,
amazing figures his paintings now fetch.

Mr., no Dr., No, MOST HONORABLE Seuss.
Without him poetry might simply be flat.
27 publishers said “we don’t like that”,
But you MUST have read ‘The Cat In The Hat.’

Another Ford, this one was once ridiculed
for not knowing facts of something benign.
But much less productive the world would be
sans Henry’s advancement of the assembly line.

Sir James Dyson… ever heard of him?
Well, maybe you know an effective sucking sound.
Five-thousand, one hundred, twenty-seven prototypes,
for a better way to some get dirt off the ground.

Hogwarts and Harry and Hagrid and Ron,
Hermione on nine and three quarters platform…
First person to become billionaire from writing
JK Rowling can afford much more than a dorm.

Speaking of writers, this one wrote Carrie
But at first, frustrated, he threw it away.
His wife rescued it from the garbage bin,
King’s sold millions, as of today.

These 26 complete and “miserable failures”
kept on with their dream, and they really are
people teaching failure is a verb, not a noun.
Apply that fact, and you’ll really go far.



I wrote this poem in January, 2013, based on this article:

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