The first poem is a “palindrome” or mirror poem. You can read it from top to bottom or bottom to top or both ways at one sitting. The syllable count and line count form a “nonet.” It consists of nine lines in diminishing, or as in this poem, increasing syllable count. “I look at the glass…” the narrator is looking at the mirror. There is no catharsis only reception.
The second poem, Sonnet #30, is a favorite of mine. Here the narrator is looking in the mirror (and himself). He is having a good cry with “cancell’d woe,” and concludes with a catharsis of his “sorrows” ending “restor’d.” I like having my poems linked with Shakespeare; not bad company.
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I look at the glass a dry last tear
no sight of joy sadness or fear
diffused lost thoughts posted here
the last glance the last care
the reflection where
the mirror’s stare
flesh and bone
(Shakespeare sonnet #30)
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unus’d to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe,
And moan th’ expense of many a vanish’d sight;
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor’d, and sorrows end.