William Carlos Williams

(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963 / New Jersey)

Danse Russe - Poem by William Carlos Williams

If I 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?

Topic(s) of this poem: dance


Comments about Danse Russe by William Carlos Williams

  • Keen Butterworth (1/30/2016 10:54:00 AM)

    This is one of the great short poems of the language. Every detail is significant. It is about the plight of every artist: isolation, loneliness, narcissism. And the artist's transcendence through transformation and transfiguration. The artist is awake: everyone else is asleep. Keen Butterworth (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Keen Butterworth (1/30/2016 10:35:00 AM)

    This is one of the great poems of our language: every detail is significant. It is about the plight of every artist (isolation- loneliness) but also about the artist's transcendence and transformation of that loneliness. He is awake- everyone else is asleep. Keen Butterworth (Report) Reply

  • Anitah Muwanguzi Anitah Muwanguzi (12/21/2015 8:33:00 AM)

    hahahhahah. This poem is very interesting and vivid. Can't stop laughing. (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (8/31/2015 10:39:00 PM)

    ...........nice write...keep penning ★ (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (8/31/2015 10:39:00 PM)

    ...........nice write...keep penning ★ (Report) Reply

  • Robert Rorabeck (4/15/2008 12:01:00 AM)

    this is probably my favorite of his poems.... (Report) Reply

Read all 6 comments »



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Read poems about / on: lonely, mirror, baby, dance, happy, sun, tree, sleep



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 25, 2014


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