The man in the glass poem addresses you as a general reader. Ultimately, the speaker tells the listener that you need to be able to look at yourself in the mirror, as your judgment of yourself is the only judgment that matters in this world.
Man In The Glass
When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.
For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.
He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.
You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.
We will only be at ease if we can look in the mirror each day and accept what we see.
Initially in the narrative, this phrase refers to a framed photo of Reyna’s father. However, the photo gains weight symbolically, as it represents both hope and resentment for Reyna.
The poem addresses you as a general reader. Ultimately, the speaker tells the listener that you need to be able to look at yourself in the mirror, as your judgment of yourself is the only judgment that matters in this world.
‘The Man in the Glass’ is a popular inspirational poem that was written in the early 1930s.
Glassing (or bottling in New Zealand) is a physical attack using a glass or bottle as a weapon. Glassings can occur at bars or pubs where alcohol is served and such items are readily available.