Poetry Corner We Wear The Mask


In Scotland the Government is recommending that we wear cotton face coverings whilst out when social distancing may prove to be difficult; such as when on public transport or when in shops.

It made me think of this poem.

A Mask

We Wear The Mask

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 over-wise,
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!

By Paul Lawrence Dunbar

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