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The Dance Analysis

Author: poem of William Carlos Williams Type: poem Views: 6

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In Breughel's great picture, The Kermess,

the dancers go round, they go round and

around, the squeal and the blare and the

tweedle of bagpipes, a bugle and fiddles

tipping their bellies, (round as the thick-

sided glasses whose wash they impound)

their hips and their bellies off balance

to turn them. Kicking and rolling about

the Fair Grounds, swinging their butts, those

shanks must be sound to bear up under such

rollicking measures, prance as they dance

in Breughel's great picture, The Kermess


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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William Carlos Williams’ poem “The Dance” is an ekphrastic poem about a painting of a fair where a village takes part in a very active dance. The repetition of “round” in the second and third line is a visual imagery of the dancers’ looping dance patterns. In addition, the emphasis on bellies, butts, and shanks later in the poem suggests that round can be used to describe their obese physicality. It should be noted that the mouth is opened the largest when pronouncing round and around further accentuating the pig-like qualities of the villagers. Onomatopoeia is used as well as audio imagery to further bring the painting to life. However the annoying sounds might be used to help describe the violent aspect of the dance, as further supported by “kicking and rolling” in lines seven.

| Posted on 2010-12-14 | by a guest

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This poem is actual ekphrastic. It describes an existing painting. The poem on itself resembles a painting: it starts and ends with the same line 'In Brueghel's great picture, The Kermess', which creates a kind of frame. The poet tries to express the dance by repetition of 'round' and the lack of punctuation. The dancers dance uninterrupted.

| Posted on 2009-01-28 | by a guest

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