As Theresa noted, fame, or at least the need for fame, is a recurring theme in The Dream Songs. I like this one because it looks at fame from a different perspective:
As he grew famous-ah, but what is fame? -
he lost his old obsession with his name,
things seemed to matter less,
including the fame-a television team came
from another country to make a film of him
which did not him distress:
he enjoyed the hard work & he was good at that,
so they all said-the charming Englishmen
among the camera & the lights
mathematically wandered in his pub & livingroom
doing their duty, as too he did it,
but where are the delights
of long-for fame, unless fame makes him feel easy?
am cold & weary, said Henry, fame makes me feel lazy,
yet I must do my best.
t doesn't matter, truly. It doesn't matter truly.
It seems to be solely a matter of continuing Henry
voicing & obsessed.
Having gained fame, not surprisingly he finds fame does not bring what he thought it would bring, does not make “him feel easy.”
He may no longer obsess about his lack of fame, but neither does he find what he’s looking for in it.
Fame does not resolve the issues that made him seek fame in the first place for there is still something inside making Henry obsess. This doesn’t come as any great surprise, of course, because we see this in far too many stars who gain fame only to spiral into a meteoric tailspin, perhaps because they realize what they’ve devoted their whole life to attaining isn’t really what they wanted, or need, after all.