Selected Poems

7 Poems About Monetary Greed We All Should Read

Last Updated: January 21, 2023

Money. It’s been called the root of all evil. But is it really? Or is it the love of money that’s to blame? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some poems about greed and money. Whether written from the perspective of the giver or taker, these poems explore the motivations behind our quest for wealth and what it means for our relationships with others. So buckle up and get ready to dive into some poetry about monetary greed!

1. The Man Whose Riches Satisfy His Greed by Solon

The man whose riches satisfy his greed
Is not more rich for all those heaps and hoards
Than some poor man who has enough to feed
And clothe his corpse with such as God affords.

I have no use for men who steal and cheat;
The fruit of evil poisons those who eat.

Some wicked men are rich, some good men poor,
But I would rather trust in what’s secure;
Our virtue sticks with us and makes us strong,
But money changes owners all day long.

2. Things! Things! Things by Amos Russel Wells

Things! Things! Things!
On the tables, on the floor,
Tucked away behind the door,
On the shelves and on the chairs,
Dangerously on the stairs,
Bureaus crammed and closets filled,
Boxes packed and boxes spilled,
Bundles everywhere you go,
Heaps and piles and overflow
Of things, things, things!

Things! Things! Things!
Things of value, worthless trash,
Things preserved or gone to smash,
Ancient things or things just bought,
Common things and things far-sought,
Things you mean to throw away,
Things you hope to use some day,
Cellar, attic, all between,
One exasperating scene
Of things, things, things!

Things! Things! Things!
Things that take our precious time,
Hold us from the life sublime,
Things that only gather dust,
Things that rot and things that rust,
Things that mould and things that freese,
Things that harbor foul disease,
Things that mock us and defy,
Till at last we grimly die
Of things, things, things!

Things! Things! Things!
Let me cease to be their fool!
Let me fly their crafty rule!
Let me with unsparing knife
Cut their canker from my life!
Broad and clear and all serene
Let me make my mansion clean,
Now und evermore to be
Calm, unfretted, grandly free
From things, things, things!

3. Through the Needle’s Eye by Anonymous

Tall was my camel and laden high,
And small the gate as a needle’s eye.

The city within was very fair,
And I and my camel would enter there.

“You must lower your load,” the porter cried,
“You must throw away that bundle of pride.”

This I did, but the load was great,
Far too wide for the narrow gate.

“Now,” said the porter, “to make it less,
Discard that hamper of selfishness.”

I obeyed, though with much ado,
Yet still nor camel nor I got through.

“Ah,” said the porter, “your load must hold
Some little package of trust-in-gold.”

The merest handful was all I had,
Yet, “Throw it away,” the porter bade.

Then, lo, a marvel! the camel tall
Shrank to the size of the portal small,

And all my riches, a vast estate,
Easily passed through the narrow gate!

4. Greed by Irwin Mercer

When we were born with no possession.
The love received was our concession.
No worries, no fears, no troubles, no fuss.
In mother’s arms we put our trust.

But as we grew, we looked and craved,
and all too soon became enslaved.
The more we saw, the more we wanted.
Our quest for more became undaunted.

Our thirst for more could not be quenched.
The more we grasped, the tighter we clenched.
We scampered and gathered and gathered to hoard.
Possessions became our master and lord.

And when we’re old with our treasures all heaped,
a sad example of what greed has reaped.
Our fists still clenched in a grasping motion,
till at our death, when our hands are opened.

5. Your riches taught me poverty by Emily Dickinson

Your riches taught me poverty.
Myself a millionnaire
In little wealths, — as girls could boast, —
Till broad as Buenos Ayre,

You drifted your dominions
A different Peru;
And I esteemed all poverty,
For life’s estate with you.

Of mines I little know, myself,
But just the names of gems, —
The colors of the commonest;
And scarce of diadems

So much that, did I meet the queen,
Her glory I should know:
But this must be a different wealth,
To miss it beggars so.

I’m sure ‘t is India all day
To those who look on you
Without a stint, without a blame, —
Might I but be the Jew!

I’m sure it is Golconda,
Beyond my power to deem, —
To have a smile for mine each day,
How better than a gem!

At least, it solaces to know
That there exists a gold,
Although I prove it just in time
Its distance to behold!

It ‘s far, far treasure to surmise,
And estimate the pearl
That slipped my simple fingers through
While just a girl at school!

6. Man’s Greed by Paul Sebastian

God fashioned man out of earth
In His image and breathed life into him
Woman He created for him to love
Dominion over creation, He gave him
Eden’s Paradise, earthly heaven as his treasure
Man, yet succumbed to Evil One’s temptation
Greed banished him from heavenly pleasure
To till the earth for food; to earth, his destination

Greed begets even more deprivation
Man’s insatiable greed has no limitation
He has learnt not despite Eden’s first lesson
In his heart, greed to be like gods, lives on

Man looks for strange gods to trust
He worships the god of material riches
Falls at the feet of goddess of lust
Bows before goddess of envious witches
His heart wears pride as the devil’s crest
Prowls to steal, kill and destroy: No glitches!

Powers of darkness, his propriety
Offers food to the god of gluttony
Religion abused in the name of Almighty
Alibi for rapes, killings; massacres for tyranny
Rich get richer; the poor suffer in dire poverty

Eco-green sacrificed to fatten an economy
Rapid industrialization, at expense of man’s health
No regard for our children’s futurity
Insane to abuse and rape Mother Earth!
Recklessly tampering with his posterity

Suffer man with floods, drought and eco-pollution
Mother Nature, suffocates in global warming
Flash weather changes, flash floods displacing thousands
Displaced millions more in nations that are warring
Coveting a people with self-stamped ideological warrants

Marriage institution wearing, gay-marriages in
Cultural norms challenged and evolving
Social-religious values trampled, crumpling
Is this the apocalypse man’s hastening?
Has man begun his own grave digging?

Would he relent to warning cries and sober?
Rebel till it’s too late? Then cry, ‘Oh, my God! ‘
Would he forcefully usher in a new world order?
Would he elect the Chaotic Leader of days of old?
Man is mere earthly man, not God
He cannot play God, not reincarnate God
(He’d reincarnate the devil in him, as his god!)

Mother Earth, he must respect
Mother Nature, he must protect
God’s Law he must hearken
To God he must return
Not become, himself, a god!

7. Greed And Money by Anonymous

I believe that wanting money is needed.
I do not believe that wanting money is greed,
What I believe is greed; is the overwhelming need
of having more money, then needed.
It takes money to remain in existence.
Listen wanting money is not greed.

And theirs no danger
In giving money to a hungry stranger.
This is the danger: exceeding you needs
And letting the fellow that pleads go hungry.
So next time you see a beggar pleading don’t yonder,
And don’t let him wait any longer

Final thoughts

As the world becomes more materialistic, it’s important to remember that greed is not always a good thing. Above are a few poems about the downside of monetary greed. Hopefully they’ll help remind us all to be thankful for what we have, and to not take our possessions for granted. Thanks for reading!

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