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The Legend Of The One-Eyed Man Analysis

Author: poem of Anne Sexton Type: poem Views: 4

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Like Oedipus I am losing my sight.

LIke Judas I have done my wrong.

Their punishment is over;

the shame and disgrace of it

are all used up.

But as for me,

look into my face

and you will know that crimes dropped upon me

as from a high building

and although I cannot speak of them

or explain the degrading details

I have remembered much

about Judas -

about Judas, the old and the famous -

that you overlooked.

The story of his life

is the story of mine.

I have one glass eye.

My nerves push against its painted surface

but the other one

waiting for judgement

continues to see . . .

Of course

the New Testament is very small.

Its mouth opens four times -

as out-of-date as a prehistoric monster,

yet somehow man-made

held together by pullies

like the stone jaw of a back-hoe.

It gouges out the Judaic ground,

taking its own backyard

like a virgin daughter.

And furthermore how did Judas come into it -

that Judas Iscariot,

belonging to the tribe of Reuben?

He should have tried to lift him up there!

His neck like an iron pole,

hard as Newcastle,

his heart as stiff as beeswax,

his legs swollen and unmarked,

his other limbs still growing.

All of it heavy!

That dead weight that would have been his fault

. He should have known!

In the first place who builds up such ugliness?

I think of this man saying . . .

Look! Here's the price to do it

plus the cost of the raw materials

and if it took him three or four days

to do it, then, they'd understand.

They figured it weighed enough

to support a man. They said,

fifteen stone is the approximate weight

of a thief.

Its ugliness is a matter of custom.

If there was a mistake made

then the Crucifix was constructed wrong . . .

not from the quality of the pine,

not from hanging a mirror,

not from dropping the studding or the drill

but from having an inspriation.

But Judas was not a genius

or under the auspices of an inspiration.

I don't know whether it was gold or silver.

I don't know why he betrayed him

other than his motives,

other than the avaricious and dishonest man.

And then there were the forbidden crimes,

those that were expressly foretold,

and then overlooked

and then forgotten

except by me . . .

Judas had a mother

just as I had a mother.

Oh! Honor and relish the facts!

Do not think of the intense sensation

I have as I tell you this

but think only . . .

Judas had a mother.

His mother had a dream.

Because of this dream

he was altogether managed by fate

and thus he raped her.

As a crime we hear little of this.

Also he sold his God.

Submitted by Emily


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