We Wear the Mask (Powerful Life Poetry)

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Read by Shane Morris

Full Poem:

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!

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 – 1906)

#poem #paullaurencedunbar #themask

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30 Comments

  1. *Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.*

    Have a great day!.

  2. I really love this voice what a depth in voice ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  3. One of my favorite poems! I just thought of this, for obvious reasons, and had looked it up a few days ago. Thank you for this video.

  4. We try to hide our pains inside with a smiling face outside and broken heart inside. What a brilliant poetry

  5. When I used to think of the Mask I imagine & see Jim Carrey in movie totally class!
    now this has a more sinister darker meaning as probably never intended by the poet in a Corona Virus Reality we now find ourselves in, but humans enjour as we always have done or non of us would be here for our ancestors struggles going back to when life was more simple in ways but more brutal & Savage at the same time!
    I’m really sorry for these states of affairs & all the people who have suffered because of Losing loved ones losing hope living in fear I’m ashamed of our Race as we have become a human disgrace of a Race, our abuse of our world so blue & abused
    Killing everything including ourselves,
    At war over race & religion,
    Half the world starving the other half obese & every form of suffering in between! This is not in harmony in any shape or form, we should be living in Homeostasis with each other & all life upon the world!
    Instead is See Greed, Power & Profit,
    Hate & Lies all around me & is Dominant Traits That got us into this very Sad state of Affairs,
    Hear people asking why would a Loving God allow this to happen well it doesn’t it’s Men & Women who allowed this to happen,
    God doesn’t intervene or we would be free, we all have freewill the power to choose the Dark or the Light, but we have abused it for our own amusement & will be held accountable at the final Judgement for our abuse of freewill at the expense of the world for our own selfish amusement!
    “It’s one Love to the world no matter what From Bonnie Scotland”
    ❤️🌍🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    • The mask is figurative man 👨. It was written between 1872-1906 lol.

      “We wear the mask that grins and lies…..with torn and bleeding hearts we smile”.
      He is talking about the mask we put on, so nobody sees how we feel inside. It’s not literally a mask, just the persona we put on.

    • Your initial reaction is through emotion which I can understand due to our currant situation. I hope you will give this poem another listen.

    • It’s about the persona’s that we put on for others. The “masks” that we wear or that are forced upon us by circumstances – the masks that hide the Truth. From that perspective, it is the exact OPPOSITE of what you believe. Man, don’t take it so literal. Try a bit of creative thinking. Imagination is on the “going extinct” list, so help out a bit.

  6. that was interesting poem, thank you so much for sharing, with very deep meaning loved it.

  7. Only those afraid to live hide behind layers of masks.
    Only fake people have the courage to express themselves as long as their real face is hidden.

  8. For every year and every season, there comes a brand new reason. Every breath you live to take, you will find, you’ll never break. The present is the only time, where light will shine, if you find the way. When the night comes passing by, when the memory of better times are what lies inside those fragile eyes. When the light seems far away, When the hope has nothing left to say. Past and future, share different names, but in the end, they are the same. Time will pass, and time will fly, and every time, a piece of you will stay behind. The missing moments, are what’s inside, the universe, inside our hearts and minds.

  9. I love this poem because it highlights the human tendency to hide our true feelings and thoughts from those around us by putting up a façade or a mask. Dunbar was a Black poet writing in nineteenth-century America. It is safe to say that given the context, the words of the poem take on an additional meaning.
    Blacks at that time often (if not usually) could not express the truth of their lives to whites without the threat of serious repercussions. Blacks had to put on a servile smile or else have their livelihoods (if not their lives) endangered. This poem highlights the suffering of Blacks who have much to complain about regarding their social plight but who cannot complain without making their own lives worse. Excellent choice RedFrost 🙂

  10. This Poem has a good message. Thank you for sharing!

    Peace be upon you!

    • How true. I find it riveting how people are relying on a piece of garment grade fashion cloth to keep them safe. Talk about a false sense of security

  11. 2021, and we’re all living,(hiding) behind masks, with no end in sight.

  12. Sometimes it’s not the people who change, it’s the mask that falls off. …👍

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