Thoughts on Not Winning a Nobel Prize
Drats, I didn’t win the Nobel Prize in literature. I was starting to brush up on my Swedish and Norwegian, reading etiquette books (I don’t want to act like a troglodyte when I am hobnobbing with royalty) and skiing magazines, watching naughty Scandinavian movies, and chewing Skoal tobacco.
Maybe my dream of being a Nobel laureate is like the overweight reliever pitching in a North Dakota tank town slow pitch softball league who fancifully thinks he will the Cy Young award someday or the hammy stagehand in a summer stock production of The Music Man” who thinks he will be discovered by a bigtime Hollywood agent and shortly thereafter will win an Oscar.
Many great writers like Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy, H.G. Wells, George Orwell, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Frost, Mike Royko, Norman Mailer, Studs Terkel, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, Willa Cather, Raymond Chandler, Booth Tarkington, Carl Sandburg, Richard Wright, Rod Serling, Jimmy Breslin, and James Thurber never won writing’s Big Kahuna. However, if the underdog American hockey team can beat the invincible Russians in the 1980 Winter Olympics, a “ham and egger” like Buster Douglas can knock out Mike Tyson and win the heavyweight championship of the world, if the Chicago Cubs can win the World Series, and if Donald Trump can be elected president of the United States, then anything, anything can happen.
So, I will continue to hope that someday I will be a Nobel laureate and that my works will be read by generations of college literature students.
This year’s winner, Louise Gluck, won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and taught at Yale University and Williams College. Since I often like to explore my “sensitive” side and write some verses, I have written
a piece of doggerel a free verse poem entitled “On Not Winning a Nobel”:
Winning a Nobel Prize
Would be a surprise.
I didn’t do it
Again this year.
Maybe I am daffier than
But I will
A Nobel Prize
And who knows?
It might just
Joe’s Maybe Memorable Quote of the Day
I like winning all prizes, even a participant trophy.