Do Not! Poem by Stevie Smith

Do Not!

Rating: 3.3


Do not despair of man, and do not scold him,
Who are you that you should so lightly hold him?
Are you not also a man, and in your heart
Are there not warlike thoughts and fear and smart?
Are you not also afraid and in fear cruel,
Do you not think of yourself as usual,
Faint for ambition, desire to be loved,
Prick at a virtuous thought by beauty moved?
You love your wife, you hold your children dear,
Then say not that Man is vile, but say they are.
But they are not. So is your judgement shown
Presumptuous, false, quite vain, merely your own
Sadness for failed ambition set outside,
Made a philosophy of, prinked, beautified
In noble dress and into the world sent out
To run with the ill it most pretends to rout.
Oh know your own heart, that heart's not wholly evil,
And from the particular judge the general,
If judge you must, but with compassion see life,
Or else, of yourself despairing, flee strife.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Anil Kumar Panda 15 January 2018

A very nice poem. One should see what is wrong with oneself before blaming others. Enjoyed.

2 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 15 January 2018

So is your judgement! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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Colleen Courtney 18 May 2014

Hmmm..a different way of saying judge not, lest you be judged?

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Sylvia Frances Chan 15 January 2018

Most deserving Modern Poem of The Day and we can read how very frank she WAS. Do Not is perhaps a bit obsolete but very g\honestly worded. We must read IN-BETWEEN-THE LINES, then we will get a complete portrait of what she really meant. Try to be in her mind, then bet you will regard this as the most deserving Modern Poem. DO NOT if you don't wanna be hurt, is her device. Brilliant!

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Bernard F. Asuncion 15 January 2018

Such a great poem by Stevie Smith👍👍👍

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Kevin Patrick 15 January 2018

Miss Smith proves a valid point, let not judge upon others or be judged upon yourself, I admit my culpability in this myself, to dismiss a person on some grounds of predisposed judgment is, flawed but oh so human. Miss Smith proves a good writer as well as modern sermon. Read this for myself for future reference.

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Susan Williams 15 January 2018

For some reason I fixated on her name and then deduced her poems would be of the light humorous kind.... teach me to make assumptions based on really silly basis. She was definitely able to delve deep into philosophical, spiritual, and human topics!

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Marieta Maglas 15 January 2018

It is clear that Stevie Smith thought that love can purify the souls. This poem is a wonderful message. In Times Literary Supplement, it was written that Smith was able both to compass the pity and terror of her themes and to respond to them with rueful courage''. Voted 10.

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Marieta Maglas 15 January 2018

People are both good and bad, but the secret of their transformation is held by the love that lives in their hearts. All the people need redemption because, by nature, our human condition involves a sinning process: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3: 23) . The result is death. In her writings, Smith is fascinated by death. Jesus died on the cross in exchange for our life, died to be revived.

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Marieta Maglas 15 January 2018

Stevie Smith, more exactly, Florence Margaret was an orphan because her father left the family to join the North Sea Patrol when she was a little girl and her mother died when she was a teenager. Together with her sister, she lived with an aunt. She develops ideas about fear and cruelty because she may have gone through dramatic experiences, but the Church of England which 'is evident in her poetry' makes her understand the essence of the human being.

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Stevie Smith

Stevie Smith

Kingston upon Hull
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