Kundalini Splendor

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cast a Cold Eye: The Wounded Poet 

Cast a Cold Eye:
The Wounded Poet

(Louise Gluck)

Cast a cold eye
on life, on death
Horseman, pass by
Epitaph on the tombstone of W. B. Yeats

They call it
ironic detachment.

As if she had been reading
the final words of Yeats,
as if her heart
had been temporarily
placed in the deep freeze
to remove its patina
of warmth.

As if she were naked
in a dream
and was surreptitiously feeling
for her nightclothes
which had
fallen to the floor,
or was player in a game in which one
must always maintain
an unmoved face.

The point was
never to feel things.
Rather to mock them
should they
somehow slip by.

What was it
she was afraid of?
That her heart,
once exposed,
admitted to exist,
would melt like
ice cream
and run down over
the floor?
As if the others,
witnessing her discomposure,
would tell on her,
broadcast her vulnerability,
her shame,
to the world?

Oh, little soul,
what wound
do you hide,
what indignity
shield from
the world’s
prying eyes?

Dorothy Walters
January 15, 2011

(Often, the greatest skeptic is the one who is hiding the deepest wound. When you hear someone scoffing, you can but wonder what pain is lurking inside.)

(photo by Thomas Connors)

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