I grew spiritually fat living off the souls of men.
If I saw a soul that was strong
I wounded its pride and devoured its strength.
The shelters of friendship knew my cunning,
For where I could steal a friend I did so.
And wherever I could enlarge my power
By undermining ambition, I did so,
Thus to make smooth my own.
And to triumph over other souls,
Just to assert and prove my superior strength,
Was with me a delight,
The keen exhilaration of soul gymnastics.
Devouring souls, I should have lived forever.
But their undigested remains bred in me a deadly nephritis,
With fear, restlessness, sinking spirits,
Hatred, suspicion, vision disturbed.
I collapsed at last with a shriek.
Remember the acorn;
It does not devour other acorns.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edgar Lee Masters's poem Robert Davidson

1 Comment

  1. ROBERT DAVIDSON says:

    My name is, believe it or not, Robert Davidson, a poet from Melbourne Australia. I had not heard of Edgar Lee Masters until I found this poem bearing the same name as mine. Imagine my surprise on reading it. It is a not very flattering description but in some senses it seems to fit. Can anyone tell me more about this poem.

    Robert Davidson,

    [email protected]

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