Those Evil Few



With wealth, the likes of Helen's Troy,
There are these few that think they're coy—
They seem so modest, but I warn,
Their modesty is but a ploy.

They hung two 'thieves' the other morn.
In fact, the day my son was born.
Their crime? Some stolen fruit, some grain ...
Two homeless, hungry men forlorn.

I felt indignant, bitter pain,
As I stood watching through the rain.
If I were starving, like these two,
Would I steal food and thus be slain?

Who knows how many men they slew,
But here is this, and it is true,
That if they touched my starving son,
I'd grab a sword and run 'em through!

For by their greed their wealth was won—
Our wherewithal is nearly none.
Those evil few, so fatly fed,
Impoverished me and everyone!

And still the hungry hang there dead,
Condemned by laws those few have said.
And now my hunger has me torn:
Obey their laws, or steal their bread?

About this poem

This is a poem that touches on the socioeconomic disparities that have plagued humans since time immemorial. My mind, while trying to paint this picture, clung to the High Middle Ages of Europe where the livelihood and survival of the peasantry class hung on the arbitrary and capricious whims of the lords who ruled over them. The stanza type employed here is modeled on that of the Rubaiyat.

Font size:
Collection  PDF     
 

Submitted by Vixility on September 15, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

57 sec read
71

Quick analysis:

Scheme AABA BBCB CCDC DDED EEFE FFBF
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 876
Words 189
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

John W. May

John W. May has lived in Colorado all his life. He currently works in the field of ophthalmology and loves to mountain bike and read about history. John first became a lover of poetry in 2008 after having read a poem by John Milton. He has been reading and studying the works of various poets since. His favorite poets are Emily Dickinson, Fyodor Tyutchev and W. B. Yeats. more…

All John W. May poems | John W. May Books

40 fans

Discuss the poem Those Evil Few with the community...

1 Comment
  • lovingempath
    Your imagery of the rampant social injustice throughout history is captured in my head (the most) by the comparison between Helen's Troy and the starving thieves that were hung. But it just keeps going and going with visuals such as 'fatly fed': I envision ole' Henry the 8th. This is beautifully done John! 
    LikeReply 111 months ago

Translation

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)

Citation

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

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Those Evil Few" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/140355/those-evil-few>.

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!

June 2024

Poetry Contest

Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.
12
days
21
hours
8
minutes

Special Program

Earn Rewards!

Unlock exciting rewards such as a free mug and free contest pass by commenting on fellow members' poems today!

Browse Poetry.com

Quiz

Are you a poetry master?

»
To be, or not to be: that is the _______
A question
B answer
C doubt
D choice