S3 E9: The Things We Dare Not Tell by Henry Lawson

Welcome to The Book Dialogue.

My name is Sarah and I’m so glad that you joined me today.  The Book Dialogue is an exploration of poetry and books, philosophy, and all the things in life that happen and occur in and around us. We have wonderful conversations, and I would love you to be able to join us in the conversation.

Today, I will be reciting a poem by Henry Lawson.  His words are a powerful reminder of how we must reach out beyond ourselves to ensure that we don’t take people at surface value. But to look beneath that façade they wear to see the heart.



The Things We Dare Not Tell

The fields are fair in autumn yet, and the sun’s still shining there,
But we bow our heads and we brood and fret, because of the masks we wear;
Or we nod and smile the social while, and we say we’re doing well,
But we break our hearts, oh, we break our hearts! for the things we must not tell.

There’s the old love wronged ere the new was won, there’s the light of long ago;
  There’s the cruel lie that we suffer for, and the public must not know.
   So we go through life with a ghastly mask, and we’re doing fairly well,
While they break our hearts, oh, they kill our hearts! do the things we must not tell.

   We see but pride in a selfish breast, while a heart is breaking there;
  Oh, the world would be such a kindly world if all men’s hearts lay bare!
  We live and share the living lie, we are doing very well,
  While they eat our hearts as the years go by, do the things we dare not tell.

  We bow us down to a dusty shrine, or a temple in the East,
  Or we stand and drink to the world-old creed, with the coffins at the feast;
  We fight it down, and we live it down, or we bear it bravely well,
  But the best men die of a broken heart for the things they cannot tell.


Thank you for joining me today on The Book Dialogue.

We invite you to follow us on thebookdialogue.com or thebookdialogue.ca. As my sister is fond of saying, we like to think that we’re everywhere. So, join us in that everywhere and share what are you reading, what poem strikes your heart. We want to hear from you!


Sarah & Rebecca




The Things We Dare Not Tell by Henry Lawson The Book Dialogue

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

8 thoughts on “S3 E9: The Things We Dare Not Tell by Henry Lawson

    1. I was a well, Liz. As you can imagine, there was more than one take on this poem. Sarah would start to cry in the middle of the poem so had to start over again. Even with this final recording, she was having difficulty. I had never heard of Henry Lawson before but now I have found his poems of Gutenberg Press (one of my favourite sites along with Internet Archives).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely reading, Sarah. It evokes not only emotions but introspection. We cannot see into another’s heart, nor would we always want to! We can look into our own and become mindful that we’re not judging or causing another’s need to lie to the world. It sounds like recording this recitation was a great experience. Great editing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed this recitation. I had never heard of Henry Lawson before Sarah mentioned his name. There are so many stories that are waiting to be found in the words of poetry. Sending many hugs along with my deepest gratitude.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this thought provoking poem, and so well read! Thank you for sharing in your introduction a little of Australia and its difficulties, but also a little of it beauty and success. We have seen into the heart of the poet, this should encourage us as we also live through difficulties. I had not heard of this poem, although I had heard of the poet This podcast has encouraged me to read and share poetry, thank you for your encouragement! !

    Liked by 1 person

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