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Spanish Dancer Analysis

Author: poem of Rainer Maria Rilke Type: poem Views: 10

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As in one's hand a lighted match blinds you before

it comes aflame and sends out brilliant flickering

tongues to every side -- so, within the ring of the

spectators, her dance begins in hasty, heated rhythms

and spreads itself darting flames around.

And suddenly the dance is altogether flame!

With a fierce glance she sets her hair alight.

Unexpectedly she turns with daring artfulness

the swirling flounces of her dress within this

conflagaration, out of which her upheld naked arms,

clapping the castanets, appear like serpents striking.

And then, afraid her fire were diminishing,

she gathers it all up and flings it down

with an imperious haughtly gesture, and watches

as it lies there writhing on the ground, unyielding

and unwilling to concede the dance has ended.

Yet she show victory in her sweet swift smile

as she lifts up her face, while with her small firm feet

she stamps out the last of the dying embers.

Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming


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