To Helen Vendler
To accomplish the simplicity
Of words that learned how to dance
Without much support from a dancer
Who learned the steps of deserved living
From the vigor of his dancing mind.
Is it a dance or the dancing?
Is it to live or to be lived?
It was not the dancer, but the dancing;
It was not the life, but the living mind;
The truth of living found in dancing.
If he had chosen only to live,
The dance would have been much less lively.
It was the dancer who followed the dance;
The dance, living the dancer's life.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.