The mad girl with the staring eyes and long white fingers
Hooked in the stones of the wall,
The storm-wrack hair and screeching mouth: does it matter, Cassandra,
Whether the people believe
Your bitter fountain? Truly men hate the truth, they’d liefer
Meet a tiger on the road.
Therefore the poets honey their truth with lying; but religion—
Vendors and political men
Pour from the barrel, new lies on the old, and are praised for kind
Wisdom. Poor bitch be wise.
No: you’ll still mumble in a corner a crust of truth, to men
And gods disgusting—you and I, Cassandra.
The text of this poem has not been recorded correctly here. Line 9 should end with “kindly” instead of “kind.” I have checked several authoritative sources on this to confirm.
This poem is deep, dark and beautiful. I love it. It gives me an image of a sickley girl screaming…gah i want to paint this.