Self-Portraits

By Joseph Hesch

Every day, the poet squeezes
the contents of his heart
over the expression he wears,
and this he imprints
onto the ruled pages
of that notebook or
this window —
his versions of
St. Veronica’s veil.
Then he walks away,
continuing his life’s journey,
leaving behind the image
for you to assess.
It’s not his anymore.
Sometimes it may be hideous,
sometimes almost holy,
but always, it’s his
truth.

© 2012 Joseph Hesch

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9 thoughts on “Self-Portraits

  1. Joe, you go from strength to strength, but this poem is particularly up my street; it intelligently describes the poet’s lot, to a tee. It is somehow a very important notion to me that a poem, once written and then read by others, develops a life of its own and, as such, frees the poet of any further responsibility to edit it and make it ‘better’. I do revisit my poems from time to time and change the odd word, sometimes, I think, for the better; but not often. We should abandon them; leave them to the future world; allow them to take on their own multiplicity of meanings for whomever, in posterity, wishes to interpret them.

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