Let’s take another look at this famous poem:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Why would any GREAT MAN defer his dreams? He’s in a battle against the forces of evil, looking to ascend the mountain of prosperity. He’ll accept nothing less than total victory. He won’t sleep until he’s wearing the champion’s crown. He would NEVER defer his dreams.

Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?

Who cares what happens to the failed dreams of a loser? If he/she lacks the courage to grab the chalice of glory, then so be it. His failure is dry, it’s wet…well, who cares?

Or fester like a sore–
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

It probably does fester. Again, who cares? Life’s too short to contemplate the broken dreams of others. It will get you nowhere and waste your time.

The important questions are this: Are YOU chasing your goals? Are YOU smashing through the obstacles? Are YOU overcoming the challenges? These questions should mean more to you than the wilted dreams of another man.

Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Probably not. Failed dreams have a way to making people bitter. The only exception is when the dream is quite large (becoming a rock star, playing major league baseball, etc.). In this case, the individual can feel somewhat content that he gave it his best shot.

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Again, who cares what happens to the failed dreams of a loser? Does it sag or explode….that’s not your problem.

A GREAT MAN is relentless in his pursuit of a goal…he doesn’t wonder what happens to the “dream deferred” of another man. He’s too busy slaying demons, making plans, and completing goals. He gets up in the morning and a fire burns in his belly. He won’t rest until he’s taken part in the glorious battles of life.

See Related Article: Poetry Review: A Critique of August 1968 by W.H. Auden


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