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Stephen Dunn

Stephen DunnYes, I’m back to Stephen Dunn again. He is fast becoming one of my favorite poets. This is the fourth poem (I think) I’ve posted by him. For information about him, his life, and his career, please have a look here.

This poem feels quite personal to me. I AM one of the people who has a hard time saying what I need or want. But I had never spent any time pondering how that meant I fit into the world. So this poem gave me a lot of food for thought. It made me wonder if people really ARE one or the other…


From the Manifesto of the Selfish

Because altruists are the least sexy
people on earth, unable
to say “ I want” without embarrassment,

we need to take from them everything
they give,
then ask for more,

this is how to excite them, and because
it’s exciting
to see them the last bit excited

once again we’ll be doing something
for ourselves,
who have no problem taking pleasure,

always desirous and so pleased to be
pleased, we who above all
can be trusted to keep the balance.


Picture Credit: www.azquotes.com