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All That is Gold Does Not Glitter is a poem written by J. R. R. Tolkien for his fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings . It alludes to an integral part of the plot.
Nothing defines a culture as distinctly as its language, and the element of language that best encapsulates a society's values and beliefs is its proverbs. The graphic to the right shows the words that are used in English proverbs, with the size of each word indicating how often it occurs ( click for a bigger image ). It's interesting to note that the two most common words in English proverbs are 'good' and 'never'. A bit of armchair psychology leads to the conclusion that, if proverbs really do reflect belief, then the English are (or at least were when these proverbs were coined) inclined to be virtuous but negative - not so far from the truth perhaps?
I’ve never won a poetry competition, mainly, I like to think, because I haven’t entered many (4), but I did once win a cash prize for a short story, and then of course I won the Peter Pook Humorous Novel Contest with Stiff Competition , a novel that had previously been rejected by a top publisher for being too funny (see Comps Novel ) . I therefore speak from experience when I say that winning small, lesser-known competitions doesn’t lead to overnight fame. But having a few such successes to boast about does you no harm when approaching editors or agents, so if you do have dreams of a writing career, this could be the place to begin. Or maybe you just want to win some money. Whatever your motives, the only advice I can offer is to suggest you emulate my old friend Percy Vere, who reads, writes, reads, writes ad infinitum .