Poems about Desire

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Always without desire we must be found,
If its deep mystery we would sound;
But if desire always within us be,
Its outer fringe is all that we shall see.

- Tao Te Ching
- Translated J.Legge

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The desire of love-power
Raised him high, very high.

The desire of indifference-power
Dragged him down
Beyond his imagination.

The desire of thought-power
Killed his inner silence.

The desire of money-power
Fooled him, his life, his all.

- Sri Chinmoy

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Shakespeare - Poem about Desire

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

                          (from Shakespeare’s Sonnets, #129)

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Other Poems on Desire

Talk on Desire

by Sri Chinmoy

Desire versus aspiration. Desire binds; aspiration liberates. Desire wants to possess; aspiration wants to renounce. Desire means plus, plus, plus material wealth. Aspiration means minus, minus, minus material wealth. Aspiration means plus, plus, plus spiritual wealth love, devotion, surrender, purity, gratitude and self-offering.  

He who desires sings most pitifully his life’s poverty-songs. He who aspires sings most soulfully God’s Prosperity-Songs.  

He who desires wants to possess each and every thing, each and every individual in the entire world. He who aspires wants only those things that will help him transcend his abundant limitations and teeming imperfections. He knows he that needs help, and the things that can help him he welcomes and invites to come to his rescue.  

A desiring man prays to God to get God’s all-conquering Power. An aspiring man meditates on God to get God’s all-fulfilling Love. A man of desire wants to show the world his capacities, his strength. A man of aspiration devotedly and soulfully places all his incapacities-his insecurity, doubt, fear, uncomely thoughts and everything else that is unaspiring in him-at the Feet of his Lord Beloved Supreme.  

A man of desire wants to dominate the world. He wants the whole world to surrender to him. A man of aspiration wants to establish his universal oneness-heart with the rest of the world. How? On the strength of his self-giving, which is the only way to bring about world peace.  

A desire-intoxicated man, like Julius Caesar, wants to say to the world: “I came, I saw, I conquered.” An aspiring inspiration-man wants to say to the world: “I came, I loved and I am becoming inseparably one with you.”  

A desire-intoxicated man at every moment wants to show his superiority and lord it over the world. An aspiring inspiration-man wants only God’s Compassion-Eye to guide and lead the whole world to its ultimate Destination, the Destination that is flooded with infinite Light and Delight.

- Sri Chinmoy