Total Depravity

A wretched soul, unclean in thought
And act, I could never dare
Demand forgiveness as what’s fair
Or mercy as a favor bought.   
All of my filthy spirit poured
In smaller vessels must distill
Into a still more potent will,
One more obnoxious to the Lord.  
Reduced into a concentrate,
Depravity is never thinned
Even in babes who haven’t sinned
Souls simmering must sulfurate.  
Has any weed, profusely spread
Sown millet, barley, rye, or corn?
So wickedness is those new born
Produces thistles not soft bread.
Despite my sin, the Lord has spared
An erring servant He reproves,
One lost His gentle guidance moves
On straighter paths His love prepared.  
It isn’t their sweet innocence
But infant weakness and a lack
Of opportunity that holds back
Children from wrath and violence.  
Do you know better than your peers,
Or are you older than the hills,
That we seem callow juveniles
Against the wisdom of your years?
If so, your juniors will defer,
But if your arrogance averts
To know the better and the worse
When God does not, we can’t concur.   

About this poem

Eliphaz answers.

Font size:
Collection  PDF     

Submitted by DavidPlantinga on July 24, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:02 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,077
Words 208
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 32

Discuss the poem "Total Depravity" with the community...



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "Total Depravity" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 23 Sep. 2023. <>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    More poems by

    David Plantinga


    September 2023

    Poetry Contest

    Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.



    Are you a poetry master?

    What year was "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral" originally published?
    • A. 1773
    • B. 1761
    • C. 1701
    • D. 1789