Wednesday, June 27, 2012

97. L’Inconnue

Faithless one!

In her despair,
drowned herself,
drowned herself in
the faceless Seine.

After so many soft words,
covert glances, what was she,
but a simple country girl,
he sophisticated.

It was inevitable;
it was too predictable
that he would take a wealthy wife,
and never think of her.

So many wasted days,
knitting sweaters,
daydreaming, and
nights spent sleepless.

Well, they say, it was
not all in vain,
it was not all for

The post-Romantics in their
sombre blacks, dramatic
oh, they fancied a martyr
to epitomize their horrid plights;
Her replicated face hung in their
parlours, denigrated,

Found in every incarnation,
CPR Annie, pale and plastic,
drowned again – does she need

Pound the ground, assess the
situation, administer
such a face saved so many

Paradoxically, the
spurned object of love
becomes the “most kissed face”
of all time…

Is this any consolation,
for a heart that breaks,
for a soul that languishes?

Abandoned and alone;
all sacrifices are in vain.
Posthumous fame,
mass-produced celebrity:

to a heart that lived and loved and
to a heart which spent its final beats
beneath the shining depths,
it is nothing,
it is trivial.
All sacrifices are in

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One Art, to recognize, must be,
Another Art to Praise.

- Emily Dickinson