Mariam Kadhim


‘The Art of Joyous Living’
‘The Secret to Success’ 
– The cliché hooks
Of self-help books
Leave us dispirited

With content unoriginal
With covers dull, yet garish
Their playful claims
Of ‘No More Strains!’
‘Your life will never be the same!’
Make their public show

Some are written with good intention
With wit and sense and reason
But their lessons stay with us only
For the best part of a season

Still, en masse, their buyers
Have gained insight
Not so absurd
They’re conscious of the power,
The Sublime
Of written word

Some may find this suggestion
Perplexing, or just darn drastic:
End this futile soul-search
And pick up a good classic!

Will they give your life meaning?
Make you new?
One can never tell
In today’s era of spin,
Of lie, then win
It’s essential you start with Orwell

Is it peace? Ambition? Humour?
Is adventure what you lack?
Bin the new-age garble
Try Freud, Wilde, Kerouac

Set aside your Great Expectations
For these pioneers of litt and manifesto
Enrich lives with Great Ideas
Not buzzwords like Hey Presto!

Let’s not debase our solid wood
With: ‘Happiness in 7 Stages’
Open up the Great Works and discover
The timeless wisdom in their pages.

Copyright © Mariam Kadhim 2014

I’m a 22 year old, sporadic poetry writer. I grew up and live in Glasgow. I’m in my final year of university, studying for a degree in French.


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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