Poetry | Narcissus and the Lake

Everyday, I look at you
but you only see yourself

Everyday, I look at you
I never see myself

It is only you that I see
It made the horizon cry
and weep in neglect

A tear fell creating havoc,
changing perspective—

Has it always been you
or the sky above you?

When will we ever see ourselves?

I saw my copy of The Alchemist and decided to reread it again. I was reminded of a story in it about Narcissus and the lake. It’s been years and I still think about this version. How come the lake didn’t see Narcissus’ beauty?

“I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected”

Does this mean that Narcissus only did see the lake and not himself? But then, I also thought, was it really the lake that he saw or it was the sky? The lake being just a reflection of it.

In that sense, it was the sky’s beauty that the lake saw in Narcissus’ eyes.

Are we just a reflection of something else that’s why we don’t really see ourselves?

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vienna noreen

vienna is a highly caffeinated writer who aspires to make a difference through her words; if she's not writing, she's probably reading books and fangirling over Bangtan.

14 thoughts on “Poetry | Narcissus and the Lake

  1. Beautiful.

    I wonder if it is because we’re all the same person… We are all reflections of each other and in that way we always see ourselves.

    We are one vast consciousness. Though I think when someone is close to realising that, before they incorporate everything, it can be easy to neglect their own human self.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, and you have given me new things to think about too. I’d also never thought of the possibility of the lake seeing itself in Narcissus as is said in the Alchemist. It feels like a balance sometimes of too much self and too little self. Your two depictions make a powerful combination.

        Liked by 1 person

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