Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Masks

Golden masks excavated in KalmakarehLorestanIran.

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” 

“I believe in my mask-- The man I made up is me
 I believe in my dance-- And my destiny” 

“A mask tells us more than a face.” 

Three pictures of the same female noh mask 

Midweek Motif ~ Masks

Masks. Can't live with them and can't live without them! And in addition to our personal masks, there are also cultural and ritual masks that are precious to the faithful and also to collectors.

Can we tell when someone is undisguised? 
Do we prefer people to maintain the mask?

Your Challenge: In a new poem,
unmask a mask, reveal its use and properties, or tell its story.

Masks from Many Cultures - Screener

We Wear the Mask 

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

The Poem as Mask by Muriel Rukeyser

When I wrote of the women in their dances and 
      wildness, it was a mask,
on their mountain, gold-hunting, singing, in orgy,
it was a mask; when I wrote of the god,
fragmented, exiled from himself, his life, the love gone
      down with song,
it was myself, split open, unable to speak, in exile from
There is no mountain, there is no god, there is memory
of my torn life, myself split open in sleep, the rescued
beside me among the doctors, and a word
of rescue from the great eyes.

No more masks! No more mythologies!

Now, for the first time, the god lifts his hand,
the fragments join in me with their own music.
Image result for feather masks
File:Venetian Carnival Mask - Maschera di Carnevale - Venice Italy - Creative Commons by gnuckx (4821060456).jpg
File:CE Mask and RFK Mask (33892334294).jpg
WWI Gas Masks
Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—
(Next week Sumana's Midweek Motif will be ~ Finding a Sanctuary.)


  1. Love the prompt! Happy Wednesday, everyone!

  2. Love the prompt, Susan 💖 will be back with a poem later tonight after work. Happy Midweek, everyone!💖

  3. Good morning! I brought the first poem that fell out of my consciousness, but I just listened again to Ms. Maya (above) and have another poem, I know it. We'll see if I can do it justice today. Meanwhile, dear Poets United, let's have loving and creative days everywhere.

  4. Happy Wednesday, its raining here as i tap tap on my keyboard

    much love...

  5. Really enjoyed writing to this wonderful prompt. Thank you Susan.

  6. Thanks for another midweek prompt - sorry if we are a little quiet getting back to you all

  7. Cheers for an excellent prompt Susan and Happy Wednesday to all!
    Anna :o]

  8. Happy Wednesday all....
    The prompt is truly inspiring, Susan. Well. I am sure, more hidden are the nerves that shape our back/spine. Smiles.
    Good news is that my back pain is getting better now. I’m not completely back to normal yet, but I hope with enough time and changes to my lifestyle, I can be....
    I lool forward to reading all the beautiful poems. It's almost 2.30, time to say G nite! Shall be back tomorrow...

    1. What have you been doing for your back?

    2. Oh, just trying to ease the strain on the back :) Thanks...

  9. I am very late to the party, kids, have been busy. I will try to write something, then come back and read you.........

  10. I did my share of visiting.
    Thank you, Susan


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