Practice Makes Perfect?

The Daily Post prompt today is Practice Makes Perfect?  We are asked to share about a talent we’d love to have, but don’t have.

If we can accept imperfection, we can enjoy many things.  I can’t sing, yet as I pray the Psalms and hear their music, I am indeed sharing songs.  Praise does not mean “perfection.”  One of the reasons I love the Psalms is their honesty.

I think a lot about revision, as I reread my poems.  Of course I see room for improvement, yet sometimes I know a poem was a gift and to let it simply be itself.

Madeleine L’Engle spoke of “serving the work.” *  As I recall, she also said that if a book had to be perfect, she could not have published any books.  Yet if the work asked for a major revision, she obeyed.

This is a poem I wrote in 1981, and it was published in Time Of Singing in 1991.


And so my soul
Spills over
Into print again
As the sun spills
Over flowers
And the neighborhood

Endurance is eloquent
And marigolds are
Admirable because
They bloom
So long

Oh, my heart
Is tender
Yet God keeps it
And so my soul
Spills over
Into print again

Ellen Grace Olinger

* A good book: WALKING ON WATER Reflections on Faith & Art, by Madeleine L’Engle.
Published first in 1980.  Harold Shaw Publishers.  Wheaton, Illinois.

One thought on “Practice Makes Perfect?

  1. As a teacher once taught us, practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect, and that kind of practice requires that you miss too many other wonderful things in life.
    The older I get, the more I appreciate this wisdom.


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