This is a poem that I wrote for a project in my high school junior year's Honors English class. We were supposed to imitate the style of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven." I thought I was quite successful in this endeavor! I wrote this poem in the heat of when I was trying to reconcile my sexuality with my religion and captures the intense emotions I felt during this period of my life. Enjoy!
The Prison of the Heart
1 In weak reflection in endless night, the blended shade of black and white;
2 Gray it is called for it’s neutral shade, but as I am it does not exist anymore--
3 For the heart’s prison, and the judgment did she die by torment,
4 And there she lies; in black white pallor do I secretly favor,
5 That in the heart she did choose the poison I cannot ignore;
6 Yet as it truly is black white, I still accused the Tormentor.
7 Lady Justice holds the scale before her eyes, with the poison on black, and the water on white;
8 Her eyes stare forward with base benevolence towards she that accompanies evermore,
9 Overshadowing the blank cell with her God-given wings of authority.
10 And she lies in the prison of the Impersonator,
11 With the black white choice of the Liberator--
12 But outside the prison, the very reason, lies the Tormentor.
13 The lady, not of Justice, but captivity--
14 With deep blue eyes and auburn hair she lay there on the floor;
15 Her eyes, so bright they were before, like crisp clean ice on a winter day,
16 Her eyes, her eyes, where was the light before now is black and always will be forevermore!
17 How could she drink the poison before and fallen on the floor?
18 Alas, the Tormentor, the Tormentor!
19 This prison with it’s iron bars was unusually crafted,
20 For the lock itself was on the inside of the door!
21 The key in the hands of the prisoner, for it was a voluntary prison;
22 Ingeniously devised, this was the plan of the Impersonator,
23 To induce a self-made torture of the captor,
24 And placed outside the door was the Tormentor.
25 His last cruel idea was Lady Justice with her morbid scale,
26 The poison or water meant for the confessor,
27 The vial of poison the size of a thumb, the golden pitcher of water delicious to the tongue.
28 A strange power holds the scale balanced and moves no more,
29 And of this terrible idea do I abhor,
30 That in a sense, the Impersonator is the Tormentor.
31 Reasons of love was the reason she went, Forbidden and strong was the love therein;
32 In secret, that is who lies outside the door, her lover is also the Tormentor.
33 Because of the bars and the empty space, she constantly heard his words and saw his face,
34 Oh, how he enticed her, but his enticings were that of a suitor,
35 Yet, the guilt she held hurt her like a razor,
36 And this was how he was her Tormentor.
37 He never left, he was always there, wanting with her his life to share,
38 The tears her eyes drew to her lids ashore,
39 She grew quite parched and looked towards the scale,
40 And realized this torture in her hands could be o’er,
41 That thought she could not keep nevermore,
42 She knew, somehow, it was the plan of the Tormentor.
43 But she drank of the water, feeling the smooth golden pitcher,
44 And tasting the white sweet water therein to savor,
45 Her thirst was quenched, but her ears were dry with the sounds of his lies,
46 To her soul no more, for it was sold to the Impersonator,
47 Signed by her own blood was she the captor,
48 Unfortunate was she the victim of the Tormentor.
49 Frantic was her pleas and now she couldn’t bear,
50 How he laughed at her pain and madness he did adore,
51 Her cursed wails, screams, and tears of frustration, of which he didn’t listen,
52 She threw the golden pitcher with violent vigor,
53 Hoping to silence his words and be done for,
54 Of course, this only strengthened the Tormentor.
55 Now she was done with this terrible torture,
56 But she couldn’t bring herself to go outside the prison door,
57 A much clearer end was there for her to ensure.
58 She stood and walked with unneeded terror,
59 Towards Lady Justice, her eyes full of valor,
60 For this man was no longer the Tormentor.
61 She reached her hand out, trembling with unfearful anticipation,
62 That after partaking of the poison she would be no more,
63 That the man’s pleading would end and he would suffer like her.
64 She unstoppered the black poison and consumed it as liquor,
65 Now the black white state of death consumed evermore,
66 For the tormented was now the Tormentor.
67 And this was the pains of my soul, for she died in my sake,
68 The pure white life that she held in her eyes no more,
69 For she entered into black white death on her own,
70 It is black white for it’s terrible dishonor,
71 And also for it’s unreasonably good savor,
72 For that, no power is in the Tormentor.
73 Ever in the prison of my heart she lies dead,
74 For the secrets I hold and attempt to ignore;
75 But attempt is what it is, for it will always be there,
76 As if a sin against God himself I wish to restore,
77 For I cannot try to be my own liberator,
78 Because me, myself, and I are my own Tormentor.
79 I wish as I could to revive her again,
80 For she was the one who kept me in my splendor,
81 That beautiful woman in the prison of my heart,
82 For I am not gray, but a black white horror,
83 Measured by man by the death of the captor,
84 For now I do wish I was not the Tormentor.
85 Now I contemplate on this endless night, my own Lady Justice, black and white;
86 For now I am as the woman in my heart, the captor.
87 The choice is the white water, and the black poison,
88 Yet, this idea is not that like honor,
89 Disgust, and will cause the people to rumor,
90 For this decision it is I, the Tormentor.
91 I reach, trembling, and knock over the golden pitcher,
92 Shocked, the decision is easier, I also will consume the black poison as liquor.
93 I listen to the rain outside my window patter-patter,
94 Frozen I am, where is this Impersonator?
95 I laugh, “What a silly idea, you cause me to have terror,
96 For it is not you, because I am the Tormentor!”
97 I felt the sensation of madness for once, and I welcomed it in abundance.
98 I snatched the black poison and ripped off the cork with vigor,
99 I drowned in it, with the feeling so savorable,
100 And now I drank to live on nevermore,
101 So I may reach the sands of Hell’s pebbled shore,
102 For it will accept I, the Tormentor!
103 I, the mad man, impulsively drank the black poison,
104 The black white death did not consume, it did not restore,
105 What wasn’t there, there was only the black, even that I lack,
106 Now I know there was never an Impersonator,
107 Now I know there was never a Captor,
108 There was only me, I, the Tormentor