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

  • Eren KaradasEren Karadas (8/8/2016 7:13:00 AM)

    deneme deneme deneme deneme(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Ray Burleigh (4/23/2016 4:46:00 AM)

    This poem shocked me into drunken laughter when I first read it...and I had no drink...but it awoke my need to find a voice that was both honest and simple...bless you WCW...you are a saint for us all to revere(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Jasbir ChatterjeeJasbir Chatterjee (3/28/2016 12:03:00 AM)

    nice poem! It's a good thing that the author finds peace in his own company in his own house, instead of seeking it in the arms of another woman.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (3/27/2016 8:13:00 PM)

    Could this poem fall under the category TMI? Even if it does, I was laughing go hard because don't we all do the I am so great dance when we are all alone?(Report)Reply

    20 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Joseph Ojogba DanielJoseph Ojogba Daniel (3/27/2016 7:50:00 AM)

    Sometimes in loneliness we find who we are. Thanks for shearing.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Emebet MesfinEmebet Mesfin (3/27/2016 5:04:00 AM)

    night time is liberating. it doesn't mean you don't feel guilty having fun all by yourself when everyone is resting(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Barry MiddletonBarry Middleton (3/27/2016 4:40:00 AM)

    I would say The Red Wheelbarrow is better.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (3/27/2016 3:41:00 AM)

    Of my household. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (3/27/2016 2:20:00 AM)

    The poem brings forth a paradox of life. The poet lives with his family. No word spared for his lovely wife or small children. He is happy to express his self-centered motives.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • 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

    5 person liked.
    2 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

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Anitah MuwanguziAnitah Muwanguzi (12/21/2015 8:33:00 AM)

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

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (8/31/2015 10:39:00 PM)

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

    0 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (8/31/2015 10:39:00 PM)

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

    1 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Robert Rorabeck (4/15/2008 12:01:00 AM)

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

    12 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
Read all 15 comments »

Danse Russe Score Card

User Rating:
2,9 / 5 (133 votes)15



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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