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William Makepeace Thackeray


Life is a mirror: if you frown at it,
it frowns back;
if you smile,
it returns the greeting.

This poem is in the public domain.


William Makepeace Thackeray (1811 - 1863) was a British writer known primarily for his satirical novels. Born in Calcutta, India, to English parents who worked for the East India Company, William was a mediocre student, at best. He did a bit of traveling, made a feeble attempt at studying law, then made a fairly serious attempt at becoming an artist before finally committing himself to a career in journalism. Though his professional life was quite successful and satisfying (during his lifetime, he was considered second only to Dickens as a popular novelist and lecturer), his private life was quite sad; one of his three daughters died in infancy and, after only four years of marriage, William's wife began battling mental illness that would plague her the rest of her life. Vanity Fair is William's best-known and most enduring work, although he published well over a dozen novels and hundreds of essays and articles.


Post New Comment:
No reliance on rhyme or sound of any kind yet its pithy message spans the centuries.
Posted 01/09/2021 03:44 PM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I enjoyed this very smart sparse poem.
Posted 01/09/2021 09:23 AM
When I look into a mirror, my left hand becomes my right.
Posted 01/09/2021 09:00 AM
Larry Schug:
Kind of simplistic thinking though it has some merit up to a point. I can't imagine his world of 1811-63 being any less chaotic for its time than the one we live in. However we do need a positive outlook or we'll get nowhere.
Posted 01/09/2021 06:45 AM

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