Name Consideration?

Have you considered the importance of a name? I was reading an author recommended by Theresa Barker when we discussing one of my earlier posts about poetry connections.

She mentioned Garrison Keillor, so I went and looked him up because I was not familiar with his work. I discovered this poem and was quite amused. I hope you enjoy his sense of humor as much as I do.  Thank you Theresa.

Publicity by Garrison Keillor

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
Who rode along with Sam Prescott
And William Dawes, but Revere got
The nod cause he rhymes with “year,”
So “One if by land and two if by sea”
Was given to Mr. Revere, though he
Was only one rider of the three,
And Sam and Bill gave many alarms
To various Middlesex towns and farms
But wound up in obscurity
Because the names Sam Prescott
And William Lawes simply were not
As pleasant to the poet’s ear,
And so we revere one cavalier
And two were denied their rightful fame.
It all comes down to the sound of your name.
If Henry Thoreau had been Wally Ballou,
Would we still esteem Walden as we do?
If Emily Dickinson’s name had been Misty
Would she have gotten so much publicity?

So listen, my children, and you shall learn:
Life takes many an unfair turn.
Many a hero goes unsung.
And I will make this simple assertion:
Though you’re idealistic, and brave, and young,
Get yourself a publicity person.

It makes me wonder if my life has been impacted by my name. As an artist, we do have the opportunity to create a persona with a name of our choosing. Hmm, maybe there is an advantage after all to a pen name. What do you think?

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