Poem; Masks – Shel Silverstein


She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hidden,
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through
Then passed right by,
And never knew.

– Shel Silverstein

     I found this poem one summer night not too long ago, and since its discovery I am unable to stop reading it. This poem has many meanings for me, some are hidden and some are clear at first glance. To me this poem is all about how individuals hide themselves from the world. How we hide our true identities everyday through the use of makeup, clothes and society. There are many hidden truths that make up this poem, for example there are always two sides to every story. This poem is a small example of what that.

     Shel Silverstein, is trying to tell us that if we never learn to love ourselves for who we truly are, then how is anyone else suppose to love us either. In order to find love and acceptance, you first need to accept yourself. I believe the title ‘Mask’ is a symbol for how each individual hides themselves; we all have a mask, a front if you were to say, a shield in a sense. We hide ourselves under this mask because we are uncomfortable and scared about what society and the common norms have to say about us. Humans are afraid to be judged. We are afraid to open ourselves up to be in a vulnerable state, with the fear that someone will take advantage of our weakness and exploit it. Individuals should never hide their true nature from others, because you never know if someone is exactly like you searching for the same thing you are searching for.

I would recommenced this poem to a old friend of mine, who like me, understands exactly what this poem means. Like me she understands how people hide their true identities under masks that we put up for the world to see. That we indeed are afraid to be judged and feel vulnerable when we let others see the real us.

If you want to learn more about this amazing poem check out Shel Silverstein’s book “Every Thing On It” that you can find on Amazon or check out this discussion page: http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2011/12/07/masks-by-shel-silverstein/


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