The Man in the Iron Mask

The Man in the Iron Mask

A Poem by Elaenor Aisling

Allowing the mask to be put back on

The darkness closing in over sun-starved eyes

Every cell in the brain railing against the ideal

Of going back to where it has languished so long

In such blankness, emptiness, unchallenged

By light or color.


The only senses alert enough to stir

Are smell and taste, but even they have gone dry.

They have become accustomed to the dank straw

And the rank bed where the head is laid every night.

The stale bread is nothing but gritty texture in the mouth

Only the mold adds flavor. 


A stony purgatory, here centuries before

Remains as cold as the day it was built

The leaky roof, which has never been fixed

And the rats, who infested its walls since the first day

The screams still trapped within its depths

And the sickly torch light that keeps the jailers from tripping.


Memories are swallowed within this hell

Hades snatching them and casting them into the abyss

Beyond reach and or recall

The mind wiped clean to a blank slate

No past or present or future

All is gone, masked by shadow.





© 2012 Elaenor Aisling

My Review

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Hopefully, this will give me nightmares.

You captured a feeling and a fear that is tough to imagine...
you put me there.

That's great writing.

Posted 11 Years Ago

Chilling description of a cell and its prisoner.

Posted 11 Years Ago

This is not only an excellent poem, the idea of using an established literary image to base a poem on is great, and not easy to do. You did very well here, good work.

Posted 11 Years Ago

You captured the "feel" of a place few get to stand within and the state of mind a being has as they become not a being at all.

Posted 11 Years Ago

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4 Reviews
Added on March 23, 2012
Last Updated on April 9, 2012
Tags: Man in the iron mask, man, mask, prison, depression, pain, brain, france, Leonardo DiCaprio, history, fiction, historical fiction


Elaenor Aisling
Elaenor Aisling

Limerick, Ireland....I wish.

I am currently a student. I write mainly poetry, a few short stories here and there. I love to read and write. Favorite authors include, Victor Hugo, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolstoy, Wilde, Alcott, C.S. Lewis.. more..