Summary of “All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter” by John Ronald Reuel

The poem ‘all that is gold does not glitter’ is a very beautiful piece of work written by John R. Reuel explaining the old-age teachings and lessons. Each and every line of the poem is filled with deep value meanings which one should imbibe in his life.

The poet says “all that is gold does not glitter.” We know that the metal has shine and luster and always glitters and it is a valuable piece of metal. We know that all the metals are not gold; similarly, the author says that it is also true that all gold does not shine. It means that in order to be valuable as gold, it is not necessary that one should shine. The deep meaning for this sentence is that valuable people do possess name and fame, but there are many people who are far beyond this fame and shine but are still valuable and we must acknowledge them.

The poet further says that ‘not all those who wander are lost’. We know that people who keep on wandering without any meaning or objective are generally lost in achieving their goals. But one must not think that all wanderers belong to this category. There are many people who travel but they do not get lost, they are the fine people who make great discoveries.

John Ronald Reuel

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The old things generally fade with time and become useless, but it is again not really true. There are many old things which do not fade with the passing time. People become experienced. The time teaches a lot of lessons which make things fade, but not necessarily lose their importance, in fact gain it.

Moreover, the poet says that it is the upper visible leaves and fruits on the tree and plants which are at the reach of the frost, but what matters are the roots of the tree which provides strength to those visible plants and leaves. Hence, one should not ignore the sacrifices made by the roots to nurture the leaves.

Next, the poet talks about the black ashes from the fire. The ashes are generally considered to be the symbol of destruction and failure, but the rising ashes here, denotes the revolutionary part. It means that every failure gives rise to that power which can revolutionize to achieve great heights and success.

The poet also talks about the light which shines from behind the shadows. The shadows are dark and dull which signifies the darkness, lost world, but one should not just look at the dark shadows but sometimes, the bright vibrant light emerges from behind the dark shadows provides with much more energy.


The poet, throughout the poem, highlights the importance of lost and deserted objects, which should not be ignored but one shall understand the relevance. Just like the broken blade is of no use, but this is not the case. A broken blade can be renewed and can be sharpened and can be used to cut many worries. Moreover, the king who lost his power, throw away from his crown, can also fight back and get his pride and power back by wearing the old crown which he lost during any war.

In the nutshell, the poet recognizes the worth of the so called destructed and lost weapons and objects of life, and how the useless considered things can be powerful again.

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