By definition, epigram is a very short, comic poem, often truning at the end with some sharp wit or unexpected stinger.
Hilarie Belloc’s Fatigue reads as follows,
“I’m tired of Love; I’m still more tired of Rhyme.
But Money gives me pleasure all the time.”
In this poem there are a few I notice right away, the words Love, Rhyme and Money are capitalized, money and love are contrasting ideas and many times they feed off one another, and thirdly, this poem is definitely an epigram.
Capitalization: in my opinion, the reason we capitalize certain words in poems and verse is because they bear some sort of importance or double meaning. In this case Love, Rhyme, and Money all sort of go together, yet they are distinct in their own ways. I like to think that love and rhyme represent rhythm and harmony, peace and happiness, hard work and perseverance, they something you work with and work towards, and once you achieve them they are lifelong they are honest and they are genuine. Love and rhyme make you happy when used correctly and passionately. Then we have the turn when we talk about the next word: Money. Everyone knows the phrase money can’t buy you happiness, and while it may buy you happiness for a short time, in the long run money will not give you the happiness that love and rhyme can give you. I think that this is what Belloc is trying to stress, and when she says in a such a light way it makes it even more powerful. The lines feed into the criteria for an epigram, they begin with one idea then change to an opposing idea. In my opinion, this poem also talks about how hard work can sometimes just be exhausting. Honestly I know for a fact that I have days where I just can’t handle everything going on. I need to take a step back in order to keep moving forward and I think that this poem also serves to point out that we need to take a step back sometimes and see what exactly we really need in our lives.