There is a face I know too well,
A face I dread to see,
So vain it is, so eloquent
Of all futility.
It is a human face that hides
A monkey soul within.
That bangs about, that beats a gong,
That makes a horrid din.
Sometimes the monkey soul will sprawl,
Athwart the human eyes,
And peering forth, will flesh its pads,
And utter social lies.
So wretched is this face, so vain,
So empty and forlorn,
You may well say that better far
This face had not been born.
(from Mother, What Is Man? 1942)
back to Stevie Smith.
© Artemis 1997