About the Poem
This poem was written for my youngest daughter, Becky, a grown woman-child who collects clown memorabilia. It came to me as the result of a long telephone conversation as she tried to explain her fascinations with a phenomenon that had long ago lost its fantasy for me.
I selected a very specific type of clown for the subject of my poem, the silent and outwardly sad-faced mime. But the poem isn't about mimes. Or even clowns. This poem is about the beauty of child-like laughter, and the joy a grown woman can still find its pursuit.
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|by Ron Carnell|
The eyes of the mime are cold and intense,
A stare both vacant and proud;
His look is sheathed in shades of diffidence,
His semblance to enshroud.
The lips of the mime are silent and dead,
Unmoving, unmoved, unmet;
The sound of his smile is left unsaid,
The touch of his voice unspent.
His face a mask, his demeanor a sham
His words unspoken untruth,
Yet the mute mime remains an epigram
Of man's remembered youth
The clowns, you see, exist for our progeny
In the big tent of the circus;
And if clowns exist for our progeny,
Then mimes are for the rest of us.
See not the unsmiling lips and icy eyes,
And hear not the silence after.
Look instead as the mime hypnotizes
And listen to the laughter.