Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

(23 September 1861 – 25 August 1907)

The Other Side Of A Mirror - Poem by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

I sat before my glass one day,
And conjured up a vision bare,
Unlike the aspects glad and gay,
That erst were found reflected there -
The vision of a woman, wild
With more than womanly despair.
Her hair stood back on either side
A face bereft of loveliness.
It had no envy now to hide
What once no man on earth could guess.
It formed the thorny aureole
Of hard, unsanctified distress.

Her lips were open - not a sound
Came though the parted lines of red,
Whate'er it was, the hideous wound
In silence and secret bled.
No sigh relieved her speechless woe,
She had no voice to speak her dread.

And in her lurid eyes there shone
The dying flame of life's desire,
Made mad because its hope was gone,
And kindled at the leaping fire
Of jealousy and fierce revenge,
And strength that could not change nor tire.

Shade of a shadow in the glass,
O set the crystal surface free!
Pass - as the fairer visions pass -
Nor ever more return, to be
The ghost of a distracted hour,
That heard me whisper: - 'I am she!'


Comments about The Other Side Of A Mirror by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

  • Aniruddha PathakAniruddha Pathak (11/11/2019 5:14:00 AM)

    What a candid and beautiful portrayal of self!
    A lovely poem
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  • Andrew BlakemoreAndrew Blakemore (11/10/2019 2:38:00 PM)

    An excellent poem beautifully written (Report)Reply

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  • Harley WhiteHarley White (11/10/2019 6:58:00 AM)

    This is a marvelous poem as is usual for Coleridge. I don't understand why people give so many classic poems a low rating, . and in general here I find that for me the ratings here often do not reflect the quality of the poems. (Report)Reply

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  • Kingsley EgbukoleKingsley Egbukole (11/10/2019 6:51:00 AM)

    Brilliantly composed. Thanks for sharing. (Report)Reply

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  • Shreshtha GoelShreshtha Goel (11/10/2018 8:56:00 PM)

    i was entranced by this poem's beauty (Report)Reply

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  • Haidee Majola (11/10/2018 8:34:00 PM)

    Looking at our mirror image while in despair and anguish gives a reflection different from the one we seek to see when we mirrorize ourselves...it may shock us but in the end we accept the mirror doesn't lie... we are it. (Report)Reply

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  • Baquee Billah AhmedBaquee Billah Ahmed (11/10/2018 4:15:00 PM)

    Good poem................ (Report)Reply

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  • Mr Salt Sir TobyMr Salt Sir Toby (11/10/2018 9:45:00 AM)

    Um Great work.Those lines slay me into two.that is the tragic story of a woman. (Report)Reply

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  • Nicole SettimiNicole Settimi (11/10/2018 8:58:00 AM)

    'It formed the thorny aureole
    Of hard, unsanctified distress. '

    'Whate'er it was, the hideous wound
    In silence and secret bled.'

    'And kindled at the leaping fire'

    'That heard me whisper: - 'I am she! ' - A collection of profound, awe-inspiring lines, genius. Genius and stunning!

    Xx
    NDS
    (Report)Reply

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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (11/10/2018 5:54:00 AM)

    The Vision of her! !

    The vision of a woman.

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Deepak Kumar Pattanayak (11/10/2018 5:26:00 AM)

    Oh this is fantastic......very beautifully composed.......thanks for sharing (Report)Reply

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  • Kayode Are (11/10/2018 3:42:00 AM)

    A successful poem of self-disclosure. Excellent. (Report)Reply

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  • Adrian FlettAdrian Flett (11/10/2018 3:15:00 AM)

    The second line of the second stanza should read 'Came through the lines of parted red'

    A powerful poem of despair and lost love. 'Shade of a shadow in the glass, '
    (Report)Reply

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  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (11/10/2018 3:14:00 AM)

    Nice poetic composition to read! But bizarre theme is puzzling! (Report)Reply

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  • haley (8/15/2018 11:19:00 PM)

    this poem is stupid (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Randy Gill (3/29/2006 7:48:00 AM)

    I agree Mary was a fine author and poet. But I do not see what her biography says about this poem. About she seeing Christ's reflection. The poem was a fine one. I reiew poems all day for a poetry site. I've done this before. (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: despair, strength, change, woman, silence, hair, red, fire, hope, mirror, women, wind



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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