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Glory Road, a Poem to Inspire

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books. Basically he just loves to write.

Glory Road

Take the road less travelled,

Select the high or low,

But remember that the one you choose

Determines where life goes.

One road leads to happiness,

Another leads to ruin,

So when you finally reach that fork

Don't make your choice too soon.

You may be gliding smoothly

Along the road of life,

But be prepared for obstacles

That cause distress and strife.

No roadblock can't be overcome,

Just take another track.

Detours often teach us how

To try a different tact.



All roads lead to Rome they say,

So no matter which you take

You'll reach your goal eventually,

The choice is yours to make.

Look at sights along the way,

Don't blindly pass them by.

You may not come this way again

Before the day you die.

One road's a busy highway

That millions use each day,

Another a quiet country lane

Where lovers sometimes stray.

But, no matter which direction,

Or your type of transport mode,

I hope that your eventual path

Is along the Glory Road.

Off the Shelf

This poem is another of my works under my "Off the Shelf" banner and inspired by the titles of books in my home collection. The book I chose as my inspiration this time was Glory Road by Robert A Heinlein.

Glory Road by Robert A Heinlein (1963)

Glory Road by Robert A Heinlein (1963)

Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science-fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", and without a doubt, one of the greatest writers in that genre of the 20th Century. He wrote a number of (at the time) controversial works which continue to have an influential effect on the science-fiction genre and on modern culture today.

Heinlein is popularly identified, along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, as one of the three masters of science fiction in what became referred to as the Golden Age of science fiction.

The term "pay it forward" was popularized by Robert A. Heinlein in his book Between Planets, published in 1951:

The banker reached into the folds of his gown, pulled out a single credit note. "But eat first—a full belly steadies the judgment. Do me the honor of accepting this as our welcome to the newcomer."

His pride said no; his stomach said YES! Don took it and said, "Uh, thanks! That's awfully kind of you. I'll pay it back, first chance."

"Instead, pay it forward to some other brother who needs it."

Heinlein was also a mentor to fellow science fiction great Ray Bradbury and passed this concept of paying it forward onto him.

In his lifetime, Heinlein received four Hugo Awards, for Double Star, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Starship Troopers was even made into a popular movie released in 1997.

Heinlein admitted his writing was influenced by Rudyard Kipling and by the plays of George Bernard Shaw. (source: Wikipedia)

Apart from Glory Road, other Robert Heinlein books in my collection include Stranger in a Strange Land, Time Enough for Love, Podkayne of Mars, and Job. Though, Glory Road is the first of Heinlein's novels I was fortunate to read and still my favourite.

© 2018 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 26, 2018:

Thanks, Lawrence. Glad it brought back memories of other Heinlein books for you. I may not have read the one you refer to either.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on October 22, 2018:


The poem was really good. I also found myself looking at Heinlein's books to see which ones I've read, I remember the plots but not the titles.

The one I remember best was about the Torch ships that earth sends out at 99% light speed to explore the Galaxy

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 25, 2018:

Mike, great to see you. You are actually the first person who has commented who has actually read any Robert Heinlein. I knew there were more than just myself out there. Yes, his writing offered hope and suggestions for curing many of society's woes.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on September 25, 2018:

Hello John - I knew there must be another Heinlein fan out there. Your poetry did him honor and continued the inspiration that he offered to many of his readers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 25, 2018:

Thanks Dana, always great to have you reading my work, and I am pleased you like the message. Blessings.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 25, 2018:

Thank you PoetikalyAnointed. Yes, the choice is yours.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 25, 2018:

MsDora, thank you for reading and I am glad you found this inspirational, especially the verse about detours. Blessings.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on September 25, 2018:

How wonderful it would be if we truly understood that we are choosing a road to travel that will lead to our destiny. Also, the beauty of wisdom is if you ever realize you chose the wrong road, you can always turn back and alter your fate.

Always a pleasure to read you work Jodah.


Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 25, 2018:

I love this inspirational poem. Verse number four is my favorite. Something to keep where it can seen throughout the day.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2018:

Hi PoetikalyAnointed,

Thank you for reading this and for your kind comment. Yes, we all have the free will to choose which road to take and just hope we make the right decisions.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2018:

Shauna, sci-fi isn't everyone's cup of tea. Heinlein used it more as a social commentary on the problems he saw in society, especially with Stranger in a Strange Land. Glad you liked the poem.

PoetikalyAnointed on September 24, 2018:

Hello John,

Perfect title for beautifully writing inspirational piece. The pictures chosen are stunning!

It strikes a chord because I just talking about this very subject yesterday. No matter who you are, you must make that choice as you experience life here on earth.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 24, 2018:

I'm not into sci-fi, Johh, but I love this poem. This could very well be a letter from parent to child.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2018:

Nithya, thanks for your generous comment. Yes, we always have a choice and should choose wisely. Glad you have decided to look up Heinlein books.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on September 24, 2018:

A beautiful poem depicting the journey of life. We have to choose wisely and take the right road. I have not read Robert Heinlein, will look up how works.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 23, 2018:

Hi Linda, as you see the first line was borrowed from Robert Frost, and I am glad the poem’s imagery of following a path worked. I first read Glory Road as a teenager and I probably reread it every ten years or so :) it is a good sci fi adventure.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on September 23, 2018:

John, I love the imagery of following a path, thinking of Robert Frost. The rhythm of your poetry is like walking along an unexplored path. What way will you choose, can you go back if you err along the way?

I've not read the book you referenced, but will certainly need to add it to my "to do" list.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 23, 2018:

I am glad to read that you are enjoying this series, Flourish. I didn't know the term "play it forward" came from Robert Heinlein either until I was researching him for this article. Thanks for reading.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 23, 2018:

I really like this Off the Shelf series. Not being a sci-fi fan, I haven’t read this author and learned a lot from your description. I didn’t know the term pay it forward came from him. Your poem flowed nicely and had a good message.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 23, 2018:

Thank you, Mary. Yes, we all have to read at least one Robert Heinlein book in our lifetime lol. All the best.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 23, 2018:

Hi Ann. Yes, if we do choose the wrong path all is not lost. It is usually possible to get back on the right track, it just takes longer to reach our destination. ‘Off the Shelf’ is one of th best ideas I have had lol.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 23, 2018:

Thanks Mark. You summarised the message perfectly.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 23, 2018:

Thank you for reading this manatita, and I appreciate the kind comment. The path we choose is up to us.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 23, 2018:

Sean, I love the quote from Thousand Foot Krutch. Thank you for your kind words, and yes, Heinlein was a master.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 23, 2018:

Thank you, Li-Jen. I often struggled to find inspiration for my poetry but the book title idea seems to be making that so much easier and the results seem popular. Glad you enjoyed.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 23, 2018:

Enjoyed reading the poem. I like the Glory Road. I have to confess I haven't yet read Robert Heinlein. It is time to get on the Glory Road with him.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 23, 2018:

Superb poem. I like the rhythm striding out along the road. How true that the paths we choose wisely can change our lives, even our impulse choices too.

I've read 'Stranger in a Strange Land' but that's all, some time ago. I liked his style.

Your 'Off the shelf' series is proving to be a constant hit, John. An inspired idea!


Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on September 23, 2018:

Nice spiritual poem. Good reminder that we always have a choice to make and that all is not lost when we make the wrong choice. We could get back on the right road again.

manatita44 from london on September 23, 2018:

The poem was a beautiful read and a perfect rhyme. Some cool instructions on finding the right path or a description of how the journey may unfold. Superb!

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on September 23, 2018:

So wise and beautiful poem, my brother, the things I Love to your poetry therefore to you. I hope many young people to read this masterpiece!

Thank you for the blessing!

Much Love to you and your family!


"When we scream, our lips don't make a sound

We march, with feet on solid ground

We walk, where no one wants to go, on this untraveled road." - Thousand Foot Krutch

PS: Heinlein is one of the best ever...

Li-Jen Hew on September 23, 2018:

Hi Jodah, I admire your cleverness in creating poems based on inspiration from book titles. The messages the poem gives are very important and the description of the roads matches the way life is. My favourite is the roadblock and you can take a detour, haha. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 23, 2018:

Hey, Bill. Yep, it's a long road wherever she is heading. Glad you liked the message here. Cheers.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 23, 2018:

I absolutely love that first pic...that's one hell of a long road to the school bus!!!! As for the poetry, I of course love the message. Well done buddy!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 23, 2018:

Good to see you, Rinita. You are often the first to read my work :) Thank you for your support and encouragement once again. Yes, the fork in the road picture was a last minute thing. I just stumbled across the pic and had to include it for a laugh.

Rinita Sen on September 23, 2018:

First, I loved that excerpt from the book, especially the last line.

Second, the picture of the fork on the road made me laugh out loud!

Third, your poem, as ingenious as ever, full of wisdom, easily narrated, leaves a lasting imprint.

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