Muriel Rukeyser, “The Poem as Mask”… #1 (of 13 poetry pieces I’ll post throughout April)

Muriel Rukeyser

The Poem as Mask

Orpheus

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
         myself.

There is no mountain, there is no god, there is memory
of my torn life, myself split open in sleep, the rescued
         child
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.

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~ by samofthetenthousandthings on April 1, 2013.

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