Reading over a Character’s Shoulder

Readers who picked up Snake Face when it came out in November may have had time to finish it by now. I thought it would be interesting to share this while the book is fresh in those readers’ minds.  In the scene where Joe Wayne Brazos is reading Yeats, the poem he’s reflecting on is The Mask, a dialog between a man and a woman.

Put off that mask of burning gold

            With emerald eyes.”

            “O no my dear, you make so bold

            To find if hearts be wild and wise

            And yet not cold.”

 

            “I would but find what’s there to find,

            Love or deceit.”

            “It was the mask engaged you mind

            And after set your heart to beat,

            Not what’s behind.”

 

            “But lest you are my enemy,

            I must inquire.”

            “O no my dear, let all that be;

            What matter so is there is but fire

            In you, in me?”

It would break up the scene to have him say what he read, and I don’t use his point of view. If you’ve read the book I think you’ll understand how the poem fits. And if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this lesser-known Yeats work on its own.

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