The Man Behind The Mask

The spotlight's on - he takes the stage
the crowds are roaring at his feet
they follow every move he makes
he rules them with his cool esprit.
He's their hero - he's their star
before their nose - but yet so far.
His name begins with 'R'.

But do they know
the man behind the mask?
After the curtain falls
he's standing in the dusk.
Torn and insecure,
full of doubt and pain
part of him wants to quit,
but soon he's on stage again.

He radiates self-confidence,
invites them with open arms
to share a piece of him today.
He sings his songs - he spreads his charm
He's in control - this is his night
the alpha man - the ladies' Mr Right

But do they know
the man behind the mask?
Trying to come to terms
with the demons of his past.
Lost and alone
within a cheering crowd.
Beloved and adored
but no real love has come about.

by jools England

Comments (1)

A witty and poignant poem about being true to the very desire that 'masters' one, however volatile and unreliable its 'hardiness' may be. Very rhythmically supple verse, esp. when compared to Surrey's more staid and static translation of the same Petrarch original. A favourite since my undergraduate dissertation on Wyatt.