The moon lit his path, and his path was the moon
It shone pale and inviting at midnight's noon.
Mysterious it called him into the night
Delirious he followed, a lunatic in flight.
The world under its shimmer slowly began to sink
The rainbow just two colors: hungry blue and black ink.
He started forth haltingly, barely able to draw breath
And glancing about feverishly as if running from death.
Once outside the gate, he quickened his pace
His eyes became wild, heart began to race
The wind at his back, the moon to his face
He spirited away from that dismal old place.
His world was dunked in cool, clear light
He skipped and he ran in abject delight.
Still further he fled into the new night
Soaring over the earth in full-borne flight
For a shimmering moment he lived among the stars
Leaving far behind him the houses and cars,
His life with its heartache and toils and scars
To favor the company of Venus and Mars.
But then, like an anchor, down from miles below,
Where the moon exerted only the faintest glow,
A dread stirring began, strong but slow.
The creaking and whirring began to grow,
And he knew it was time that he must go.
Back to the droll world with spite he descended
To the gate yawning wide where his street ended.
He looked over his shoulder, regret danced in his eyes
He swallowed the pain and waved his final goodbye's
To the grand, white orb watching out from the skies.
Staring at desolation that in cycle lies,
From each man's soul a small piece dies.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
In ancient Rome, the term 'lunatic' was used to describe someone who had gotten too much exposure to moonbeams, which was thought to drive a person mad.In the poem, the subject escapes from reality for a moment by his fascination with the moon. He does not know where he is going, he is just following the moon with a sort of crazed bewilderment. Before long, however, he is forced back to reality and the general grind of life.
Comments about this poem (Lunatic by Paul Lierman )
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(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(23 July 1823 - 26 November 1896)
Walter de la Mare
(1873 - 1958)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)