We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar
"We Wear the Mask" is a poem written by Paul Laurence Dunbar. This poem is specifically about how "we wear the mask" in order to make people see something that isn't true. For example, wearing a mask "hides our cheeks and shades our eyes" so when we are sad or frustrated, people can't see their color or our eyes' tears. Of course, "mask" is simply a metaphor for not showing our feelings openly. We do this in everyday life. It's natural and everyone does it. But should we? Dunbar makes up think about our actions.
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"We Wear the Mask" is a three-stanza poem. The stanzas have different lengths. The first has five lines, second has four, and third has six. The poem rhymes as follows: AABBA-AABC-AABBAC.
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.
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