Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Hinterland


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.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: honesty, hate, truth, smile, fear, pain, alone, dark, life, work

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Hinterland by Robert William Service )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. For John, Who Begs Me Not To Enquire Fur.., Anne Sexton
  3. Death is Nothing at All, Henry Scott Holland
  4. As I was walking, Walter de la Mare
  5. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  6. Selecting A Reader, Ted Kooser
  7. Million Man March Poem, Maya Angelou
  8. Little Billee, William Makepeace Thackeray
  9. Refugee Blues, WH Auden
  10. Tonight I can write the saddest lines, Pablo Neruda
[Hata Bildir]