Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

10 Nov

It’s my experience that poetry is good for the soul. Unfortunately, many people were traumatized by confusing poetry lessons in school as a kid. Now, they believe that poetry is too difficult to understand. It’s true that poetry can be enhanced by in-depth analysis. But it need not be analyzed to be enjoyed. Simply reading or listening to the language can sweep you away from mundane concerns and put you in touch with the wonder of life, even if only for a moment.

So Cheekie will be periodically feeding your soul with poetry. Take a moment to soak it in.

My Dressing Mirror is a Humpbacked Cat

My dressing mirror is a humpbacked cat.
Continuously my image changes
As though on flowing water.
A humpbacked cat. A speechless cat.
A lonely cat. My dressing mirror.
A staring, round, startled eye.
A never waking dream wavers inside it.
Time? Radiance? Sorrow?
My dressing mirror is a cat of Fate.
Like a controlling face that locks up
My rich beauty in its own monotony,
My quiet virtue in its coarseness.
Steps, gestures, indolent as a long summer,
Desert its melodic steps,
Immured here in my dressing mirror–
A squatting cat.
A cat. A confused dream.
No light. No shadow.
Never once the reflection
Of my true image.

Jung Tzu

I chose this poem because I’ve been reading Unbearable Lightness, Portia de Rossi’s new memoir about her struggle with eating disorders (keep your eye out for an upcoming post about this terrific book). The role of mirrors in a woman’s life is prominent in both this poem and de Rossi’s book. I’ve been thinking about the role of mirrors in my own life, in my self image. How does my reflection change from day to day? What power does the mirror hold over me? Does my image in the mirror affect my self-confidence?

What kind of relationship do you have with your dressing mirror? Is it postive? Negative? Has it changed over time?


One Response to “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”


  1. Dear Portia, An Open Letter on Unbearable Lightness « Cheekie - December 7, 2010

    […] a recent post, I mentioned Portia de Rossi’s new book Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain. After […]

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