O Make Me A Mask

O make me a mask and a wall to shut from your spies
Of the sharp, enamelled eyes and the spectacled claws
Rape and rebellion in the nurseries of my face,
Gag of dumbstruck tree to block from bare enemies
The bayonet tongue in this undefended prayerpiece,
The present mouth, and the sweetly blown trumpet of lies,
Shaped in old armour and oak the countenance of a dunce
To shield the glistening brain and blunt the examiners,
And a tear-stained widower grief drooped from the lashes
To veil belladonna and let the dry eyes perceive
Others betray the lamenting lies of their losses
By the curve of the nude mouth or the laugh up the sleeve.

Submitted by Venus

by Dylan Thomas

Comments (6)

I am glad there are poets to record the history of this world in a way that makes those who weren't there feel the chill to the very marrow of their bones.
A haunting and painful indictment of the wholesale extermination of a people, based on the names they were given at their birth, at the shape of their eyes, and the lilt of their accent. A cloud of people wafting across the continent toward their execution. Brilliantly conveyed with the click-clack of the train wheels. Mesmerizing imagery. Profound condemnation of that which lies within us all that, if released, becomes monstrous.
This great poet, one of my favourites, must be recreating the infamous rounding up of Jews under the regime, and transporting them in railway boxcars. In Russia in Communist times, the same thing was done - undesirable people were snatched from their homes and sent to Siberia. Interesting that the same spirit of religious intolerance is still alive and well in that country. STILL
Sealed Box! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
Such a great write by Wislawa Szymborska👍👍👍
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