On Popular Demand – Life is a masquerade. You never know who might be hiding behind a mask or facade – [10]


“I have never been aware before how many faces there are.  There are quantities of human beings, but there are many more faces, for each person has several.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

“There is something in every person’s character that cannot be broken — the bony structure of his character.” – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

“Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond.” – Hypatia

“He brooded upon the subject night and day, and gradually there grew and developed in his soul, like a hideous serpent, a deadly and appalling scheme worthy the conception of Satan himself.” – Leon Lewis

“It is with flowers, as with moral qualities: the bright-colored are sometimes poisonous; but, I believe, never the sweet-smelling.” – Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare

“Whenever, therefore, people are deceived and form opinions wide of the truth, it is clear that the error has slid into their minds through the medium of certain resemblances to that truth.” – Socrates

“Vision may sometimes sleep in the sun, while it wakens to widest revelation in utter darkness. Thus I am rapt in a trance-like acceptance of opening cavernous depths, crypts of deciphered gloom, yielding hollows of velvet obscurity that go down, down to the roots of things.” – Virginia Garland

Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting round of the segment On Popular Demand. Due to receiving the highest number of votes our topic for this week is “Masks and Facades.” I once read a quotation (one which really spoke to me) by Oscar Wilde which states; “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” Have you ever considered the possibility that a person whom you may or may not know might be hiding behind a social mask; putting their best foot forward, keeping up with image in the society, I mean history itself is laden with bellicose leaders using humanitarian rhetoric to mask geopolitical aims. Tonight, I want you guys to pen a poem or perhaps fiction (if you like) revolving around the concept of lies, deceit, masks and facades. Feel free to take the subject in whichever direction that you desire. Previously written work is more than welcome. For further inspiration please refer to the three incredible poems below:

Sonnet VII

by William Shakespeare

Lo! in the orient when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning head, each under eye
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
And having climb’d the steep-up heavenly hill,
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
Attending on his golden pilgrimage;
But when from highmost pitch, with weary car,
Like feeble age, he reeleth from the day,
The eyes, ‘fore duteous, now converted are
From his low tract and look another way:
So thou, thyself out-going in thy noon,
Unlook’d on diest, unless thou get a son.

White Lies

by  Natasha Trethewey

The lies I could tell,
when I was growing up
light-bright, near-white,
high-yellowed, red-boned
in a black place,
were just white lies.

I could easily tell the white folks
that we lived uptown,
not in that pink and green
shanty-fied shotgun section
along the tracks. I could act
like my homemade dresses
came straight out the window
of Maison Blanche. I could even
keep quiet, quiet as kept,
like the time a white girl said
(squeezing my hand), Now
we have three of us in this class.

But I paid for it every time
Mama found out.
She laid her hands on me,
then she washed out my mouth
with Ivory soap. This
is to purify, she said,
and cleanse your lying tongue
Believing her, I swallowed suds
thinking they’d work
from the inside out.

Psalm of Life

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.


So pick up a pen and lets begin! As always the prompt will remain open the entire week so that everyone can write according to their own pace and time. Please click on the blue widget below. When it opens be sure to click on “add your link.” Now skip the blanks and proceed directly to “try here” written at the end in small font. It will direct you on how to link your poem. Please visit other Poets and do comment on their poems. Have fun ❤️

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