Dance and poetry share a long association. Terpsichore was one of the nine classical Greek Muses, and song and poetry accounted for most of the others. Dance has been called, more than once, poetry in motion. Some of the great artists of all time have been dancers, including people like Vaslav Nijinsky, Martha Graham, Josephine Baker, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Donnie Burns. And that’s just in the last century, according to some lists. Write a poem that has some relation to dance. It might be about a certain dancer, or dance, or the art of dancing. It might be about why you love dancing, or hate it. It might be about talent, or the lack of it. Or it might be about activities that have the feel of dance but are not, such as the movements of athletes or the motions of flowers in the wind. The floor is yours.
MARIE ELENA’S CONFESSION
FAST DANCE, MY PANTS!
You all know a gal named Marie
Mid-fifties and white is she
She makes no exception
For ball or reception
She just can’t cut loose and be free!
© copyright Marie Elena Good, 2013
WATCHING A BALLERINA REHEARSE
Here, in a room filled with mirrors and barres,
she flies from the floor and leaps to the stars;
her body becomes the song and the story
of dreams and defeats and glimpses of glory;
her face, devoid of paintings of fashion,
still plays each emotion with power and passion;
her arms reach beyond the vast, limitless space
and draw in the air every note in its place;
her motions describe every nadir and crest
in the turn of her hip and the curve of her breast;
her legs are both pillars and tension-filled springs
that marry her movements to melody’s wings
and her feet, the tendrils that touch her to Earth,
are loosers of lightning and makers of mirth.
Still, the beauty she makes of depression and bliss
is nothing compared to the beauty she is
as I watch her prepare for a trip to the stars,
here, in a room filled with mirrors and barres.
© copyright 2013, William Preston