“The Ode on the Mirror”

Sidebar, I know a lot of people who have been affected by depression stemming from a poor-self image and also bullying. After reading “The Picture of Dorian Grey” some time ago, I wrote this poem about a few people close to me who were really struggling with that (using the portrait’s mirror-effect as a theme). So, yes, that is an allusion to it. This poem goes out to all of those people I love and whom I hate to see being affected negatively by these things (or anyone who has ever been affected by them).

“The Ode on the Mirror”

 

Pretty girl, oh pretty girl

Garnished so in strife

Sees herself as poorly made

And loses her love for life.

 

What is in that mirror

That causes her to fret thus,

And how does one perception

Arouse in her such a fuss?

 

When she stares into a picture

Of herself she refrains

And she bursts into tears as though

What she sees causes pain.

 

Pretty girl, dear pretty girl

When will you realize

That you possess true beauty

And dry those tearful eyes?

 

 

 

Who bangs the gavel

With a verdict that says, “Nay”

As if her image were on trial

And sends her esteem away?

 

Where is the justice

In this corrupted court run

By their meaningless pursuits

For affections to be won?

 

Pretty girl, poor pretty girl

Don’t you shoulder the blame

Their desires to be different

Only make them all the same.

 

From where did this evil spawn?

Was it adaptive or inane?

Is it human to demean others

To bolster our own names?

 

It is foolish to claim that

One may define the abstract

For knowledge is ever-changing

And we will never know the facts,

Pretty girl, my pretty girl

Turn from their silly ways

Just wear your gorgeous smile

While their morality decays.

 

No, don’t you give in

And listen to their lies

They have holes where their hearts should be

And sorrow in their eyes.

 

See their greedy hands

How they long for your tears

The monster that’s inside them

Is its own biggest fear.

 

Pretty girl, no pretty girl

Don’t let your soul turn black

Their descent is a long road

From which you’ll never turn back.

 

When you see that reflection

You’re looking at your soul

And if you are not happy with it

Their words will take their toll.

 

So drop your preconceptions

Yes, put those fists away

Before you lose your head

Hear what I have to say:

 

Pretty girl, oh pretty girl

Don’t wish that picture dead

Once the image is extinguished

It is you who dies instead.

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