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Handout 1: The Face In The Mirror

Robert Graves (1895 - 1985), from The Complete Poems (New York: Penguin Books, 2003).

Grey haunted eyes, absent-mindedly glaring

From wide, uneven orbits; one brow drooping

Somewhat over the eye

Because of a missile fragment still inhering,

Skin deep, as a foolish record of old-world fighting.

Crookedly broken nose — low tackling caused it;

Cheeks, furrowed; coarse grey hair, flying frenetic;

Forehead, wrinkled and high;

Jowls, prominent; ears, large; jaw, pugilistic;

Teeth, few; lips, full and ruddy; mouth, ascetic.

I pause with razor poised, scowling derision

At the mirrored man whose beard needs my attention,

And once more ask him why

He still stands ready, with a boy's presumption,

To court the queen in her high silk pavilion.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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