musings, life lessons & poetry from Theresa Jarosz Alberti

Poetry Challenge – Day 30!!!

Welcome to Day 30 of my 30-Day Poetry Challenge!

Well, here we are, the end of April, the end of this poetry challenge! Wow, it has been a ton of fun, a lot of work, and extremely meaningful to connect with people and give away books. I’ve learned a lot in the process. 

Thank you SO MUCH, readers and commenters and sharers of my work! I am humbled and honored by your part in all this, yes, even if you read in silence, just a few poems.  I am still thinking about what’s next for me going forward, and definitely want to continue posting here, poems or observations. Stay tuned! I have a lot of ideas…

Congratulations, Brenna, for winning a free copy of my poetry book! Brenna, please email me your address so I can send your prize:

I will do one more book raffle tomorrow, so don’t forget to comment. I will contact the winner by email. 

Thanks again for reading! Now for today’s poem.

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On a whim, I became fascinated by looking up artists and writers who were late-bloomers. The NaPoWriMo prompt for today was to write a poem that “engages with a strange and fascinating fact,” so maybe that’s what got me going. In any event, it seemed like a fitting end to the 30-day Poem Challenge. Which I just noticed, ends with begin!

Not Too Late

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Toni Morrison and George Eliot published their first novels at 40.

Grandma Moses became an artist in her late 70s and painted for over 20 years.

Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t write until she became a columnist at 44. She wrote “Little House in the Big Woods” when she was 64.

After teaching for 30 years, Frank McCourt wrote and published “Angela’s Ashes” when he was 67 years old. It won a Pulitzer Prize.

Painter Paul Cezanne didn’t have artistic and professional success until his 50s and 60s.

Bill Traylor didn’t start drawing until he was 85 years old and homeless. He created over 1000 works of art.

At age 68, Mary Delany started making intricate paper cutouts of plants and flowers to help her cope with loss. These cutouts are now part of the British Museum’s collection. She created over 1,700 pieces of art, working until age 88.

James Michener wrote 40 books after the age of 40.

Anna Sewell started writing “Black Beauty,” her only published work, when she was 51. She died at age 57, shortly after it was published.

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I tell you this
I tell me this
because I need this to sink in:

It’s okay, it’s never too late to start
(or start again, and again)
while you are alive.
The pen waits, the brush waits, the notes wait, the
blank paper/screen/canvas/space waits
for you to begin
in the smallest steps forward.
Forget regrets, recriminations, ruminations.
All of it has brought you here, to today
which is the perfect day to start,
imperfectly, rusty, slowly, unsure.
Don’t think, just start
See how many have gone before you,
paving the way?
Honestly, truly, most sincerely,
it’s okay to let that tight curled bud
of hope unfurl.
Guard it tenderly,
pick up the pen,
and begin…

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  • I’m writing and posting a new poem every day through the month of April (yikes!), for better or worse.
  • AND, as a gift, I’m giving away a copy of my poetry book EVERY DAY this month. FREE!
  • Sign up to WIN a copy of (After) Confession by just leaving a comment beneath the poem of the day.
  • I will pick a winner every day in April! So comment every day for a new chance to win.

OR, you can purchase your own copy of (After) Confession for the new low price of $9.00 USD, shipping and handling included! Click here to read sample poems and purchase a copy.

April is National Poetry Month, which was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

This month’s posts are part of the  NaPoWriMo challenge — that’s National Poetry Writing Month. At, you’ll find links to other participating writers and their poetry. AND daily writing prompts for inspiration to write your own poems. Check them out.

I’m so looking forward to your comments–  it doesn’t have to be about the poem. Write anything, share the name of your favorite poet or poem, write about the weather, whatever! And thanks for reading.

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Photo credit: Thought-Catalog-217, and Eddy Klaus, courtesy of


  1. Nora Jane Krahn

    This is truly inspiring! While I have written newsletters in the past, I’ve not considered writing for pleasure.. until now!
    Thank you Theresa!

    • Theresa Alberti

      I’m so glad it was inspiring, Nora. Thanks so much for being a faithful reader and commenter this month. If you decide to take the plunge and write for fun, I hope to get to read something you write!

  2. Sharon

    Ah yes, I really like how this poem ends.

    I always like to read about people who found their success later in life because it helps me feel a little less urgent, a little less late, even though I know I’ve got time . . .

    Thank you for your poems this month! I’ve enjoyed them! I’m sad to see NaPoWriMo go.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks, Sharon, and back atcha about your poems this month! You have got a great head start in life, doing writing like this while young. The trick is to not let the busy-ness of life get in your way. Hang onto your writing and creative outlets.

      I’m a bit sad too, but I’m also looking forward to a break!

  3. Judy Budreau

    What a lovely way to end a month of poetry! Thanks, Theresa, for bringing us along for thirty days.

  4. Serena

    Oh, Theresa… I am panicking because my first writing class in many years start tomorrow, & I’ll be 60 in three months. Too old, I quaver. Too late, I wheeze. Until I read your words. No regrets, recriminations, or ruminations then. I’ll take your advice. Pick up a pen (or my Alphasmart Neo) and begin.

    Thank you for 30 days of really inspired work, that has, as your poems continue to do, inspired me.


    • Theresa Alberti

      I am so glad this poem is helping you out through that panic, my friend! I just felt so inspired to write it, and I know that others need to hear this message as much as I do. Good luck with your writing class… I am so excited for you and can’t wait to hear all about it. Thanks as always for your support and friendship. XO!

  5. Giovanna

    Congratulations! You made it for 30 days! That’s no small feat.
    I’ve been lurking here and reading your poetry every day, and have enjoyed the poetry, but I think this one is the best of all. I’m looking forward to more poetry, writing, and whatever you post.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thank you, Gio! It does feel like climbing those hills/mountains, like in the Peak District and Iceland. Exhausting but very rewarding. I’m so glad you were reading and enjoying what I wrote. Thank you!

  6. Shari

    Wow! Wow for not only you meeting your challenge, Theresa, but Wow for writing a terrific piece. Hannah Tinti, a keynote speaker and writer at a Loft conference I attended a week ago, said something like this: They got published not because they were better writers than the others. They got published because they kept trying and didn’t give up.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks, Shari! I know how hard it is to just not give up when shame or fear get in the way, so this poem was as much for myself as anyone. We’ll not give up together, ‘kay?

  7. SherriH

    You couldn’t have ended with a better, more inspiring poem! Thank you for the gift of these thirty days of your fine work. It has been wonderful to read about your process and the work you produced. What a way to inspire us all! Thank you, my friend!

    • Theresa Alberti

      I went out with a bang, Sherri… but it’s really just the beginning of keeping on going with the next step. I’ve got loads of ideas right now. Thanks for reading and being so supportive, my friend. I am so glad if I can inspire anyone!

  8. Barbara Moffett

    You have, are, and be inspiring, my friend. Congrats on the lovely, provocative, and inspiring poems that we would not have gotten, on the fortitude to write every day, and on the connections you’ve made with us by responding to our replies. I’ve enjoyed each piece for different reasons.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thank you so much, Barbara, for those kind words and your ongoing support. I’m so glad it was rewarding for you!

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