The Interim

The Interim (Man proposes, God disposes)
The sentence "Man proposes the God disposes" in the poem "The Interim" (written by Homie Poet), immediately got our attention. This is more than just a phrase; it resembles the title of a painting by Edwin Henry Landseer.

The sentence Man proposes the God disposes in the poem The Interim (written by Homie Poet), immediately got our attention. This is more than just a phrase; it resembles the title of a painting by Edwin Henry Landseer.

Man proposes, God disposes (analysis)

You are allowed to think that the used sentence, although the sentence is slightly changed. Man proposes God disposes is the title of a nineteenth-century painting by Edwin Henry Landseer. He made this painting in 1864. The theme of the painting was the lost expedition of Sir John Franklin of 1845. He leads an expedition to the Arctic. The entire expedition, 129 men, was lost. It wasn’t until 2014 that one of the ships of this expedition was recovered.

The painting by Landsheer shows us how nature – something that is Godly or divine – can take away everything. Literally: the proposals are disposed of.

There should be no concern about any copyright infringement when it comes to the poem written by Homie Poet. This is because Landsheer himself wasn’t responsible for the creation of this sentence or phrase. The origin dates back much longer in history. It is believed that the first time this phrase was ever used is in The Imitation of Christ. This book was written by Thomas á Kempis in the fifteenth century. The phrase can be read in the nineteenth chapter of this book: Homo proponent, sed Deus disappoint.

Was this the first time the phrase was ever used? Well, it depends on what you see as the original. Kempis was the first one to write down this sentence in the way we nowadays know this one. But, he was also inspired by someone else. To be exact, The Book of Proverbs, also known as The Proverbs of Solomon. This is the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. This was later translated into Greek and Latin. Now comes the tricky part…

There are many translations of the Christian Old Testament. Therefore it’s unclear what the right one is. The options to go for:

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.


Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.


You can make many plans, but the LORD ’s purpose will prevail.


Well, just pick anyone of these. It all comes down to what Kempis used as his basis for the sentence in his book. This sentence began its own life. Somewhat related to the Bible (Christian or Hebrew). It shows that words of religion can be inspiring, but they are also the result of the way we want to read or “see” them. And them we are back at the poem that this poet wrote us.

He shows us that he knows about this phrase and asks us the question: will he? It all comes down to our proposal and the final answer. This is what this poet describes as a struggle. For everything we do, it causes an effect. These are the consequences that relate to a certain action. For example: if you start a fire, there is a possibility that the house burns down. But if you are careful enough, this will not happen. These events and their consequences are in a way controlled by our actions. Therefore, it’s a very good idea to look ahead or to look further.

How about The Interim. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, this is an intervening time, an interval. According to this poet, this interim is actually life.

“Life is the Interim. We live in this time that’s between our proposal and the ultimate disposal.”

Yes, deeply written by this talented poet.

The Interim

The Interim

Our desire and it’s consequences.
Mammoth differences and the nuances.
Distant dreams and the close calls.

Our fantasies flights then the truth installs.
Plans catastrophes then the clarity seizes.
The reality chases and then the ultimate amazes.

All this play happens amidst
“Man proposes, but the God disposes.”


Life doesn’t happen in the interim
Life, the Interim


Homie Poet

Man proposes god disposes
Man Proposes, God Disposes by Edwin Henry Landseer (1864)
This painting is part of the collection of the Royal Holloway, University of London

Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Interim
Article Name
The Interim
A poem based on the phrase "Man proposes, God disposes"
Publisher Name
The Ministry of Poetic Affairs

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