Glory Road, a Poem to Inspire

Updated on September 23, 2018
Jodah profile image

John is a poet, short fiction, and freelance writer who also trained in home ministry and Bible study.


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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A fork in the road
A fork in the road
A fork in the road | Source

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.

Detour | Source

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Glory Road
The Glory Road
The Glory Road | Source

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) | Source

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.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 John Hansen


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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        12 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • lawrence01 profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 

        13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


        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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        13 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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 profile image


        14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you PoetikalyAnointed. Yes, the choice is yours.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • Dana Tate profile image

        Dana Tate 

        14 months ago from LOS ANGELES

        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.


      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        14 months ago from The Caribbean

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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 profile image


        14 months ago from US

        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.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        14 months ago from Central Florida

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        14 months ago from Dubai

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        14 months ago from Washington State, USA

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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 profile image


        14 months ago from USA

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks Mark. You summarised the message perfectly.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        14 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        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.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        14 months ago from SW England

        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 profile image

        Mark Tulin 

        14 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        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 profile image


        14 months ago from london

        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!

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        14 months ago from Greece, Almyros

        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 profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 

        14 months ago

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        14 months ago from Olympia, WA

        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!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Senoritaa profile image

        Rinita Sen 

        14 months ago

        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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