Poem Hunter
The Puppet
(1948 / OVER 400 POEMS SERVED! !)

The Puppet

The puppet preens upon the stage.
The backdropp is his puppeteer,
whose screen winds into sturdy strings
that hold his mind in their tight grip,
controlling him without a slip.

The funhouse mirrors make him laugh,
then rage, then cry, or fear, or smile.
He is a most pathetic chap,
with no repose or true release.
The changing backdropp is his life.
Its calms give momentary peace,
until a storm starts up again.

He’s tired of dancing to this tune,
whatever tune the backdropp plays—
the cheap effects, the tawdry days,
the heroines. The hero slays
a dragon, then gets slain himself.

He’s tired of the plots and themes,
the comedies, the tragedies.
He knows by now his mind’s a slave
to shadows within Plato’s cave.
A close-up kiss, good deeds, crimes,
he’s done them all a million times,

and yet, how does he cut the strings
to become radically unhinged—
to cry at joy and laugh at pain?
The world would see him as insane—

the shadow world, it’s true, and yet,
the only world he knows, as yet.

To heed a whisper that he hears
deeper than his outer ears,
a voice—maybe, a voice to trust?
Else, all returns into mere dust.

User Rating: 4,5 / 5 ( 3 votes ) 7

Comments (7)

I agree absolutely with Raynette. It goes further than marionettes, to shadow puppets... I've often wondered why they have such fascination and your poem gives the platonic answer. The only way we can become real is by forgetting that we aren't.
Max, this is simply superb. Making the leap of your puppet to Plato's cave and the symbolism within is brilliant. Your closing stanza wraps it up nicely. I kept thinking of the ways we all dance to someone else's tune and never realize that we do it. Raynette
marvelous, the symbolism seemed to hasty near the end, well written poem over all. Jon
My favorite stanza is the fourth! This is a fabulous and profoundly deep poem, Max. Made my morning!
Yes, this poem reads good but there is a slight mistake in spelling. And the most interesting thing about the poem is that it has a great theme with which you could have dealt much better. Anyway, I have kind of liked this one.
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