Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Danse Russe by William Carlos Williams

If when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,-
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
"I am lonely, lonely,
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!"
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,-

Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

This is another poem that I found online by William Carlos Williams. I enjoy reading this poem because of it's ironic point of view. Not only does this poem have a humorous point of view, but it also makes the reader look at things in a different perspective. The title of the poem, "Danse Russe," is kind of confusing in the sense that I'm not clear on what the speaker is talking about. I would like to think that "Danse Russe" is the name of a person, but I'm not positive. I like how the beginning of the poem just begins with this description and imagery of a man just dancing around naked in a room. The beginning couple of lines of the poem discuss the characters which the speaker involves himself with as well as the scenery of the outer world. While the poem progresses, it brings in a comical point when the speaker says "dance naked, grotesquely." The word "grotesquely" just makes me laugh and think of this man just dancing naked in a weird way. The comical relief of the poem continues on when the speaker talks about how he waves around a shirt in circular motion above his head and I could just imagine a man doing that just because just about everyone has seen an image just like it or similar to that. The last two lines of the poem kind of bring the whole poem into focus. When the speaker proposes the question, it kind of brings the poem into a halting end. Not necessarily in a bad sense, but just in a way where the reader rethinks the purpose of the poem. When I read the last two lines, it made me reconsider the poem, not just in the humorous sense, but also that there is a dominating tone of the man throughout this poem.


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