Why do you strive for greatness, fool?

Why do you strive for greatness, fool?
Go pluck a bough and wear it.
It is as sufficing.

My Lord, there are certain barbarians
Who tilt their noses
As if the stars were flowers,
And Thy servant is lost among their shoe-buckles.
Fain would I have mine eyes even with their eyes.

Fool, go pluck a bough and wear it.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Stephen Crane's poem Why do you strive for greatness, fool?

2 Comments

  1. Nimal says:

    “Why do you strive for greatness, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin, yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these”, fool?”
    (notice the comma before the word “fool”)

    “Fain would I have mine eyes even with their eyes.”
    (what a superb rejection/disdaining line this is!)

  2. Sean Irving says:

    I have used Lao Zi as a reference before and I will use him again. He mentions something very similar to the words of this poem when he says: The sage takes care of the belly; not the eye.
    He prefers what is within to what is without.

    This poem seems to criticise the person who seeks fame and fortune. Perhaps they struggle their entire lives looking for it and never find it. And those that do, who is to say that they are happy.
    Maybe this is what he means when he writes: Fain would I have mine eyes even with their eyes.
    He seems to be someone who looks within himself for greatness and not without. He also seems to be a believer in living a spiritual life. Having faith in Christ and in yourself is all the greatness one will ever need. He doesnt need the superficiality of human made greatness, his is everlasting.

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