Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Carpe Diem #121, Greed (one of the seven sins)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to read your posts on 'Vanity', you have all composed wonderful haiku. Sometimes with a clear kind of vanity in it and sometimes not so clear, but they all were great.
I am glad to see new contributors to our daily haiku meme and I love to welcome them to Carpe Diem. I hope Carpe Diem will grow further and will even be a greater success than I could have dreamed of.
Today we share haiku on 'Greed', another one of the seven sins.


Greed is the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one's self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort. It is applied to a markedly high desire for and pursuit of wealth, status, and power.
As a secular psychological concept, greed is, similarly, an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs. It is typically used to criticize those who seek excessive material wealth, although it may apply to the need to feel more excessively moral, social, or otherwise better than someone else.
Thomas Aquinas wrote "Greed is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.". In Dante's Purgatory, the avaricious penitents were bound and laid face down on the ground for having concentrated too much on earthly thoughts.

From Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary, greed means "greedy for base gains." Gain itself is not a sin, but the gain of base things. Also, "given to greed" means literally, "given to filth." Thus, a moral concern, not a subjective economic one for which there is no equal. A very wealthy man, for example, may be considered "greedy" in error, if such wealth was planned for some great achievement or building project.

Ivan Boesky famously defended greed in a May 18, 1986, commencement address at the UC Berkeley's School of Business Administration, in which he said, "Greed is all right, by the way. I want you to know that. I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself". This speech inspired the 1987 film Wall Street, which features the famous line "greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind."


The Worship of Mammon - painting by: Evelyn de Morgan

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon”. (Matthew 6:24)

What a sin ... Greed ... how to write haiku about greed? This will not be easy, but I have to try ... of course.

looking for more
hunting for gold and diamonds -
haiku community

(Don't take this personal (smiles), but if I read all of your wonderful post ... I love to read more. Just a kind of greed I think.)

finally have found
the last volume of the haiku bible -
Blyth's Haiku

Credits: first cherry blossom

first cherry blossom
every day I look up with greed -
another cherry blossom

Well ... I have succeeded I think. I love it when a haiku flows from my pencil. Every haiku makes me greedy for more haiku ... is that a sin? Am I sinner?

This prompt will stay on 'till February 15th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode on one of the seven sins, Jealousy, later on today around 10.00 PM (CET). Have fun, be inspired and creative ... and you may be greedy for more haiku writing and reading ... (smiles).


  1. I too was greedy for a poem, any poem, today!! I especially enjoyed the last one though, about the cherry blossoms. Classic!

  2. Another very informative post and great haiku ~ enjoy the day ~

    Carol of: (A Creative Harbor) ^_^ on blogger

  3. I think being greedy with beauty is ok..

  4. Greed for cherry blossoms--that makes so much sense!

  5. This should be interesting. Love your haiku. ;-)

  6. I think it's perfectly fine to be greedy for cherry blossoms--they don't last anyway!

  7. interesting how one haiku today fulfilled two.prompts, greedy aren't I :)

  8. Just to say hello! I'm back from Switzerland. - Will come came the next days. For today there's still some work left.

  9. What a nice and unsinful approach to greed. I added my link late yesterday as I woke up in the middle of the night. :-)