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Literary Worth

Mark Twain once entered a contest that offered $10 for the best original poem on the topic of spring, “no poem to be considered unless it should possess positive value.” He submitted this:

http://books.google.com/books?id=QoSwAAAAIAAJ

“It took the prize for this reason, no other poem offered was really worth more than $4.50, whereas there was no getting around the petrified fact that this one was worth $10. In truth there was not a banker in the whole town who was willing to invest a cent in those other poems, but every one of them said this one was good, sound, seaworthy poetry, and worth its face. … Let other struggling young poets be encouraged by this to go striving.”

See Inspiration.