A Poem on Vanity with Critical Analyses


The poet is concerned about the efforts of man on this earth that will end suddenly one day. Upon all the sweats of man, we have to say goodbye to the day we don’t know. No matter how long we live here, we shall leave one day. Everything will end one day. The researchers should learn more so that they can appreciate and analyze any poem.



My wandering mind came to a thought

What in this globe

Do we come to do?

Do you read and hear about

Our mission here?

No response yet

I hear sermons on the pulpits

I read God’s verses

My friends alert me

That this life is all vanity

And we shall return to our origin

Unknown date

Of what gain

And use is the wealth I possessed

In dryness and rain

In the sweat of my labor

All in life

That I have to say goodbye!

What life?

I wake very early to work hard

For daily routines

And return very late in the day

But when the fruits of my labor

Yet to reap

My inquisitive mind cannot forgive me!

Alas! It could be just a few seconds

That I have to answer the call

I could not say

O, Adam’s broods

From dust come we

And to dust shall we return

We come here to die

And be back to our origin

A day, unknown!

Poet: Deola Adelakun

Briefs of the Poem

Vanity to the poet is ‘nothing’. The poem vanity reminds us that this world is not forever. Life will end one day.

The poet testifies that he learned in different ways that this life is not forever. We shall return to our origin when no one knows. The poem sees this world as a fragile thing that must be held as delicate as a mirror.

The poet is concerned about the efforts of man on this earth that will end suddenly one day. Upon all the sweats of man, we have to say goodbye to the day we don’t know. No matter how long we live here, we shall leave one day. Everything will end one day.

READ ALSO:  A Poem on Warning with Critical Analyses

The poet uses biblical allusion to explicate that we are only strangers in this world. We came to transact businesses. Once we are done, we shall return home. As a proverb says in the Yoruba language, Ijo kan Nina Odile Leysin sun is je.

The biblical reference confirms it ‘ from dust we come and we shall return to dust. That is everybody will die and give an account of what we have come here to do. We have come to die!


There are several themes of vanity in which the poet campaigns that life and this world are nothing and all is vanity. The theme of vanity, the theme of death, the theme of labor, and sweat, and our last home is in heaven. They are discussed below.

The theme of vanity is vanity

The poet reminds us of what life and the world are all about. He continues to call our attention that life is vanity and the world is vanity. With all that we are and all that we do or all that we become, vanity upon vanity, all is vanity. No matter the years we spend in life, everything will end one day. Also, no matter our influences and power in this world, this world will end one day. Time and life will expire suddenly.

The theme of death

The poem abounds around death because the poet reminds us of heaven though we are in this world we shall get back home one day. Death will strike everybody one day. We shall all return to our origin which is heaven.

Our labor and sweat will end suddenly.

The poet reminds us that this life is so short that death will not forgive anybody when it comes. That day, our laboratory work, our office, our sweat, and our power will end suddenly. The third stanza of the poem emphasizes that despite all our efforts and our daily routines days and nights but our inquisitive mind cannot forgive us.

READ ALSO:  A Poem on Disaster with Critical Analyses

Heaven is the last home.

The poet makes us understand that heaven is the last minute. We must always think about it. That is why the poet affirms that we come from heaven and we shall return to heaven in the time we don’t plan for. The poet exclaims that it can be seconds or a wink of eyes. The end will unexpectedly come and we shall return home one day.

Language and Poetic Devices

There are several languages and poetic devices in the poem. Some of them are discussed below.

Stanzas and lines

The poem has 4 stanzas and 32 lines. Each line has a 8 rhyming line, that is, an octave. Each stanza has a good metrical flow determined by sounds.

Type of poem

The poem is an elegy as the poet laments about what will happen at the end of man and this world.


The poet is mourning and lamentable. He is not comfortable about living in this world because he knows this word is not forever. It is just vanity.

Figures of Speech


The poet makes use of metaphor to compare two objects without the use of comparative words. Such words are “That this life is all vanity” (line 8)


The poet makes use of repetition such as, “I” (lines 6, 7, 16, 25), “Life”(lines 8, 15, 17)

Rhetorical Questions

The poet makes use of rhetorical questions such as “What in this globe we come to do” (line 2), “Do you read and hear about” (line 3), “What life” (line 17), “Of what gain…”(line 11)

Biblical Allusion

The poet gets detain references from the Bible to portray the gap between life and death. In the last stanza, there is a use of Biblical allusion: “…from the dust come we and to dust shall we return”

Word List and Meanings

Epistle: A Long letter

READ ALSO:  2 Poems on Procrastination and Proficiency with Critical Analyses

Possessed: Achieved; acquired

Routines: Activities

Inquisitive: Curious; asking to know

Practice Questions

1. The ‘globe’ in line two (20) represents_________ (a) bulb  (b) word (c) ball  (d) world

2. Who are Adam’s broods as used in the poem? (a) Sons of Adam (b) Brood’s sons  (c)  Sons of Broods  (d)  Man

3. What does ‘origin’ in the poem describe? (a)  heaven  (b)  background  (c)  home  (d)  house

4. ‘From dust shall we

And to dust shall we return

5. What literary term is contained in the lines above? (a) Business allusion (b) Classical allusion (c) Biblical allusion (d) Historical allusion

6. The lines are examples of ____________________

octave (b) quatrain (c)  sextet  (d) couplet

7. The poet submits that the world is ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________

Unknown (b) vanity (c) inquisitive (d) possessed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like