Robert William Service
You speak to me, but does your speech
With truest truth your thought convey?
I listen to your words and each
Is what I wait to hear you say.
The pattern that your lips reveal,
How does it measure with your mind?
What undertones do you conceal?
Your smile is sweet - but what's behind?
I speak to you, but do I tell
The secret working of my brain?
Frank honesty would make life hell,
And truth be tantamount to pain.
When deep into the mind one delves,
Appalling verities we view;
If we betrayed our inner selves,
Would you hate man and I hate you?
Are we not strangers each to each,
And all alone we live and die?
Deception is the stuff of speech,
And life a smug and glossy lie,
Where puppet-like our parts we play:
The first in public we rehearse,
The second when we shrink away
into our private universe.
The soul has its grim hinterland
'Twere better never to explore;
Dark jungles where obscenely planned
Prowl monsters of primaeval lore;
With primal fear our lives are fraught,
And cravenly we cower behind
The silences of secret thought,
The murky mazes of the Mind.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Hinterland by Robert William Service )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
William Ernest Henley
- My Wild God Blooms, Guillermo Veloso
- According To The Flesh, Edward Kofi Louis
- 52!, Edward Kofi Louis
- Between War And Freedom, Edward Kofi Louis
- For the first time, Joni Lenhart
- Slowly-so-Slowly,, Aftab Alam
- Her Spirit Sings for Him, Maia Padua
- I Am Cast To The Sky, Richard Provencher
- Sweet Victory, Edward Kofi Louis
- Gorgon With Hair Threatening, Margaret Alice Second