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Need Less – Give More[1]

The Usual Objects of Shining Inutility[2]

We Wrap a Shiny new Package around the Same Old Product[3]

From Necessities to Accommodations – from Accommodations to Ornaments[4]

I’ve got Gadgets and Gizmo’s a Plenty – I’ve got Whozits and Whatzits Galore[5]

Every item has been Cut out of its Nature, Wrapped, Disguised as something else – and Sold[6]

Junk is the Poem of our Time – Pointless Accumulation Clinging to a Million Denials[7]

She always has Anything in the World she Wants – and then she Throws it Away[8]

The Straw which our Sickles have Reaped is far Heavier than the Grain[9]

Our Ubiquitous yet easily Overlooked emblems of Transient

Existence are Heaped one on top of another, as in a Landfill[10]


I have it All and Want it Back again[11]

The Massed Treasure is Loaded on Top of him[12]

That which is called Progress encourages Extravagance[13]

And all we Think of is How Much we can Carry with us[14]

If we can’t have Everything – what is the Closest amount to Everything we can Have?[15]

In Place of Old Wants we find New Wants – requiring Products from Distant Lands[16]

Where there is More than Enough – More than enough is Wasted[17]

There’d be no Paradise without Serious Ornamentation[18]

The Road of Excess leads to the Palace of Wisdom[19]

Superfluous Wealth can buy Superfluities only[20]


My Bank Account is a Guarantee of my Reality[21]

They Buy things – Acquiring the look of a Full Life[22]

This is just an Object Without Value like any other object – yet I feel a Great Attachment to it[23]

The Sharp edges of his Apprehensions Blunted by this sudden Wealth of Worldly Possessions[24]

A Chest of Rubies to Ease, with their Crimson-Lighted Depths, the Gnawings of his Broken Heart[25]

Man Alive that Mournst thy lot, Desiring what thou hast Not got, Money, Beauty, Love, what Not[26]

The Gentleman Cherishes Virtue whereas the Petty person Cherishes Physical Possessions[27]

Gripped by Miserliness – we have been Untimely in the Dedication of Offerings[28]

It’s gonna take all my Mountains o’ Things to Surround me, Keep

All my Enemies away, keep my Sadness and Loneliness at Bay[29]

Will Diamonds Replace your Friends?[30]


I always Gag on that Silver Spoon[31]

The Deceitfulness of Riches – Choke[32]

I Hate to hear Everything Vulgarly My’d[33]

Gold, instead of a Symbol of Evolution – becomes the Basis for Conflict[34]

Gold and Money do not Lessen the Depravities that Ooze out from within[35]

Profitless Usurer, why dost thou use so Great a Sum of Sums – yet canst not Live?[36]

Throw away Keepsakes – or from your desk a Choking, Poisonous Fume will Exude[37]

They have Money and Power, but only at the Cost of Harbouring in their

Breast an Eagle, a Vulture, forever Tearing the Liver out and Plucking

At the Lungs – the Instinct for Possession, the Rage of Acquisition[38]

If all you got to Live for is what you leave Behind – get

Yourself a Powder Charge and Seal that Silver Mine[39]

Wealth, Unlov’d – without a Mourner Dies[40]


Surplus Creates Resentment[41]

Why Keepest? Why Squanderest thou?[42]

Avarice Destroys what the Avaricious Gathers[43]

Make One Fortune – Sure to Blow it in trying to find Another[44]

Always Losing what she has in Wanting all the Things she sees[45]

One no longer Counts what one Has but what one has Not – Everything becomes a Loss[46]

“What Reason have you to be Merry? You’re Poor Enough” –

“What Reason have you to be Morose? You’re Rich Enough”[47]

The Delight of the things of the World Bears its own Sorrow

In it: it is All Beginning and Ending – it cannot be True Joy[48]

You shall not Heap up what is call’d Riches – you shall

Scatter with Lavish Hand all that you Earn or Achieve[49]

Much Wants More – and Loses All[50]


Cheynes of Gold[51]

Every Door is Barr’d with Gold[52]

One who cannot Cast away a Treasure at need is in Fetters[53]

Assailed by the Vulgar Hateful Trials of a man who Buys

And Uses a great Many things which might be done Without[54]

Captor is made Captive, Fortune has Snared the Hunter – no Ill gotten Gains can be Kept Long[55]

Man was Born Free – and Everywhere he is in Chain Stores[56]

Possessed – by what we now No More Possess[57]

Things are in the Saddle – and Ride Mankind[58]

Luxury comes as a Guest to take a Slave[59]

Trivial Wares Inslave[60]


Change my Queenly Raiment to a Peddler’s Cloak[61]

Fool that I am to have been Carrying Superfluous Baggage[62]

I’ve Never had Anything that if I Lost I’d Care about too much[63]

You can’t Plant me in your Penthouse – I’m going back to my Plough[64]

Things – the Word she uses when Whatever it Stands for is too Distasteful or Filthy or Hor-

Rible to pass her Lips – a Successful Life for her is one that Avoids Things, Excludes Things[65]

Abandon Possessions and look for Life – Despise worldly Goods and Save your Soul Alive[66]

By all means, continue Destroying my Possessions – I daresay I have Too Many[67]

The Liberator who Destroys my Property is fighting to Save my Spirit –

The Teacher who Clears all Possessions from my path will set me Free[68]

I shall Spurn as Vilest Dust the World’s Wealth and Grandeur[69]

Nothing could be more Salutary at this stage than a Little

Healthy Contempt for a Plethora of Material Blessings[70]


All Needful Things come Unsought[71]

What you do not Have – you Find Everywhere[72]

If each would Take that which is Sufficient for his Needs, leaving

What is Superfluous in Distress, No one would be Rich, No one Poor[73]

The Measure of Happiness is the Difference between what you Have and what you Want[74]

We know to Live on Little to make a Simple Life away from Manmade Laws and Boundaries[75]

Content with Chipped Bowl and Tattered Robe – my Life moves on Serenely[76]

The Most Valuable things he Owns – are also the Most Portable[77]

He Wears Rope Shoes – and Prefers Fallen Fruit[78]

Nearest to the Gods when he has Fewest Wants[79]

All that is Mine I Carry with me[80]


Unstain’d with Gold or Fee[81]

His Brightest Diamonds are the Merest Pebbles[82]

We prefer Liberty in Poverty – to Wealth in Slavery[83]

I can Feel no Pride, but Pity for the Burdens the Rich Endure –

There is Nothing Sweet in the City but the Patient Lives of the Poor[84]

A Peasant’s House – but in Point of Hospitality it is Equal to a King’s Palace[85]

There are Few Material Possessions in her House but each is Beautiful and Carefully Chosen[86]

Blessed is he who Humble Lives – for Grace shall come to him from Heaven[87]

When people have a Lot, they Want More – when

People have Nothing, they will Happily Share it[88]

The Less you have – the More you can Give[89]

A Beggar may be Liberal of Love[90]


Rich in the simple Worship of a Day[91]

If you know how to be Satisfied you are Rich[92]

The Mind itself does not Increase with the Gains nor Decrease with the Losses[93]

To count a man’s Wealth – you must First know the state of his Conscience and Health[94]

I Possess Nothing Worthy to Give you – Nothing not Belittled by my Saying that I Possess it[95]

The Riches I Seek will never be Stolen – for Inside it is, that will be Beholden[96]

‘Tis Little I could Care for Pearls – who Own the Ample Sea[97]

Poets have always found More to Nourish them among

Their Fables – than Rich men among their Treasures[98]

You Pay, you get Ripped off – Free, you get it All[99]

Having Nothing – yet hath All[100]

[1] Jocelyn Casey-Whiteman, Poem for the Future

[2] A.E. Coppard, The Third Prize

[3] Paul Martinez Pompa, I Have a Drone

[4] Sir Joshua Reynolds, To the King

[5] Howard Ashman, Part of Your World, in The Little Mermaid

[6] Alan Dugan, The Morning Here

[7] Tommy Pico, Junk

[8] Eudora Welty, Why I Live at the Post Office

[9] Homer tr. Samuel Butler, The Iliad

[10] Erika Meitner, HolyMolyLand

[11] Hamilton Adair, Having It All

[12] Beowulf tr. Seamus Heaney

[13] Katsuhiro Ôtomo & Izô Hashimoto, Akira (dub)

[14] John Ashbery, Hotel Lautréamont

[15] Emily Berry, The End

[16] Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto

[17] Bantu proverb

[18] Christina Pugh, The Impersonal Is Our Paradise

[19] William Blake, Proverbs of Hell

[20] Henry David Thoreau, Walden

[21] Yukio Mishima tr. John Nathan, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

[22] Denise Levertov, The Novel

[23] Don Hertzfeldt, World of Tomorrow Episode II: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts

[24] Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

[25] F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

[26] Edna St. Vincent Millay, Lines for a Grave-Stone

[27] Confucius tr. Edward Slingerland, Analects 4.11

[28] Padmasambhava tr. Gyurme Dorje, The Tibetan Book of the Dead

[29] Tracy Chapman, Mountains O’ Things

[30] Santana, Hope You’re Feeling Better

[31] Herman J. Mankiewicz & Orson Wells, Citizen Kane

[32] Matthew 13:22 (King James)

[33] Fitz Hugh Ludlow, Socrates Snooks

[34] Paulo Coelho tr. Alan R. Clarke, The Alchemist

[35] Subha tr. Charles Hallisey, Therīgāthā

[36] William Shakespeare, Sonnet IV

[37] Czeslaw Milosz tr. Czeslaw Milosz, Child of Europe

[38] Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

[39] Bob Dylan, Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo

[40] Samuel Johnson, The Vanity of Human Wishes

[41] Seneca in Tacitus, quoted by James Miller in Examined Lives

[42] Dante Alighieri tr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Inferno

[43] Botswanan proverb

[44] John Huston, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

[45] Gertrude Stein, Three Lives

[46] John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos

[47] Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

[48] Ursula K. Le Guin, Blue Moon over Thurman Street

[49] Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road

[50] James’s Aesop, The Goose with the Golden Eggs

[51] William Dunbar, In Honour of the City of London

[52] Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Locksley Hall

[53] J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

[54] George Eliot, Middlemarch

[55] Sophocles tr. Theodore Howard Banks, Oedipus at Colonus

[56] George Monbiot, Addicted to Comfort

[57] Robert Frost, The Gift Outright

[58] Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ode

[59] Joni Mitchell, The Boho Dance

[60] Henry Vaughan, The World

[61] William Cottrell et al., Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

[62] Diogenes of Sinope, quoted by James Miller in Examined Lives

[63] J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

[64] Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

[65] Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

[66] The Epic of Gilgamesh tr. N.K. Sandars

[67] J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

[68] Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

[69] Robert Burns, Come, Let Me Take Thee to My Breast

[70] Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

[71] William Wordsworth, Resolution and Independence

[72] W.S. Merwin, Provision

[73] Basil of Caesaria, “Which Things are Yours?”

[74] Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

[75] Bell Hooks, Appalachian Elegy 55

[76] Tosui tr. Lucian Stark & Takashi Ikemoto, Content with Chipped Bowl and Tattered Robe

[77] Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife

[78] Robert Lowell, Memories of West Street and Lepke

[79] Diogenes Laërtius on Socrates, quoted by James Miller in Examined Lives

[80] Bias of Priene

[81] John Milton, To the Lady Margaret Ley

[82] Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Birthmark

[83] Ahmed Sékou Touré, to Charles de Gaulle, quoted by Tayeb Salih in Seasons of Migration to the North

[84] John Boyle O’Reilly, The Cry of a Dreamer

[85] Jules Verne tr. Robert Baldick, Journey to the Center of the Earth

[86] Alexandra Grilikhes, Margurite Duras: An Homage

[87] The Seafarer tr. Richard Hamer

[88] Naomi Shihab Nye, My Wisdom

[89] Mother Teresa, Her Essential Wisdom

[90] Anonymous, A Pedlar in John Dowland’s Second Book of Songs or Airs

[91] John Keats, Ode to May. Fragment

[92] Lao Tzu tr. Charles Muller, Tao Te Ching 33

[93] Bodhidharma tr. John C.H. Wu, Discourse on the Twofold Entrance to the Tao

[94] Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Lifting and Leaning

[95] Wendell Berry, The Country of Marriage

[96] R.J. Willoughby, Mystery Crusaders

[97] Emily Dickinson, ‘Tis Little I – Could Care for Pearls

[98] Giovanni Boccaccio tr. Wayne Rebhorn, The Decameron

[99] Bill Hicks, Revelations

[100] Sir Henry Wotton, The Character of a Happy Life

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