An eye can threaten like a loaded and leveled gun,
or it can insult like hissing or kicking;
or, in its altered mood, by beams of kindness,
it can make the heart dance for joy
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Perceval offers this poem in the name of all prisoners:
You took away my seas and running jumps and sky
And propped my foot against the violent earth
Where could this brilliant calculation get you?
You couldn't take away my muttering lips.
When I look at the flight of leaves in
their floating down on to the cobble paving
and see them swept up as if by an
artist who has finished his picture at last
I think how (already nobody likes either
the way I stand, nor my thoughtful face)
a manifestly yellow, decidedly
rusty leaf -- has been left behind on the tree.
So in my case, it is not seemly
that I be viewed as feminine,
as I will never be a woman
who may as woman serve a man.
I only know that my body,
not to either state inclined,
is neuter, abstract, guardian
of only what my Soul consigns.
-Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
The mounds of human heads disappear into the distance,
I dwindle there, no longer noticed,
But in caressing books, in children's games,
I shall rise from the dead to say: the sun!
I have learned how faces fall to bone,
how under the eyelids terror lurks,
how suffering inscribes on cheeks
the hard lines of its cuneiform texts,
how glossy black or ash-fair locks
turn overnight to tarnished silver,
how smiles fade on submissive lips,
and fear quavers in a dry titter.
And I pray not for myself alone...
for all who stood outside the jail,
in bitter cold or summer's haze,
with me under that blind red wall.
Your idea of me is fabricated with materials you have borrowed from other people and from yourself. What you think of me depends on what you think of yourself. Perhaps you create your idea of me out of material you would like to eliminate from your own idea of yourself. Perhaps your idea of me is a reflection of what other people think of you. Or perhaps what you think of me is simply what you think I think of you.