Dance Poems - Poems For Dance

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I Cannot Dance Upon My Toes - Poem by Emily Dickinson


I cannot dance upon my Toes—
No Man instructed me—
But oftentimes, among my mind,
A Glee possesseth me,

That had I Ballet knowledge—
Would put itself abroad
In Pirouette to blanch a Troupe—
Or lay a Prima, mad,

And though I had no Gown of Gauze—
No Ringlet, to my Hair,
Nor hopped to Audiences—like Birds,
One Claw upon the Air,

Nor tossed my shape in Eider Balls,
Nor rolled on wheels of snow
Till I was out of sight, in sound,
The House encore me so—

Nor any know I know the Art
I mention—easy—Here—
Nor any Placard boast me—
It's full as Opera—

Comments about I Cannot Dance Upon My Toes by Emily Dickinson

  • Rookie - 0 Points Arfa Nisar (9/19/2015 3:29:00 PM)

    Well, quiet people are the loudest and Emily was one of them. I bet we all have been there where the poem’s first brick was laid. We all are capable of doing things which other underestimate us for. When we talk to ourselves, we usually picture a self that we want to be. I’d call this poem rather a ‘catharsis’ as her expressions are very loose, bold and true. We are only true when we are talking to ourselves. Maybe it’s a desperate wish of hers or maybe it’s a random thought and she penned it down. But this poem is too deep to be explored (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie Marilyn Matis (11/1/2009 1:51:00 AM)

    This is the first Emily Dickinson poem I fell in love with. Instead of the 'recluse poet' image we are all taught about, this is Dickinson as diva!

    She uses a simple literary device to create irony: 'I can't dance, but if I could...'
    So if she could she would be hopping around on the stage like a delicate bird. She would be SO GOOD that other ballerinas-in fact, prima ballerinas-would be envious of her abilities.

    With a wink, Dickinson tells us that not only would she be a spectacular dancer if someone only taught her, she says that no one knows that she DOES have the ability. Even though there are no signs to advertise it, she can dance very, very well.

    The joke here is Dickinson did not retreat totally from the world. She used to send her poems out for publication. But they were so unusual that all the editors and other poets said 'you're getting there, but you don't have it yet.' The ultimate irony is that no one reads those poets or editors anymore, but many read Dickinson over 100 years after her death.

    It could 'Lay a Prima-Mad' no? (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Poems About Dance

  1. 1. I Cannot Dance Upon My Toes , Emily Dickinson
  2. 2. Dance Me To The End Of Love , Leonard Cohen
  3. 3. The Dance , Friedrich Schiller
  4. 4. The Dance Of Death , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  5. 5. The Dance , William Carlos Williams
  6. 6. Dance Figure , Ezra Pound
  7. 7. The Night Dance , Thomas Moore
  8. 8. Reciprocal Invitation To The Dance , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  9. 9. Dance, My Little Puppets , sandy nobody
  10. 10. But In The Wine-Presses The Human Grapes.. , William Blake
  11. 11. Overture To A Dance Of Locomotives , William Carlos Williams
  12. 12. The Potatoes' Dance , Vachel Lindsay
  13. 13. The Dance Recital , Theresa Ann Moore
  14. 14. Milton: But In The Wine-Presses The Huma.. , William Blake
  15. 15. The Dance At The Phoenix , Thomas Hardy
  16. 16. Dance-Hall Girls , Robert William Service
  17. 17. The Master Of The Dance , Vachel Lindsay
  18. 18. Come Dance With Me - Parody Christopher .. , Jonathan ROBIN
  19. 19. Let's Dance , Alison Cassidy
  20. 20. Dance , Faith Elizabeth Brigham
  21. 21. To Dance Under The Stars Is To Dance Wit.. , Raymond Sawyer
  22. 22. (((Do You Wanna Dance?))) , Theodora (Theo) Onken
  23. 23. The Baby's Dance , Ann Taylor
  24. 24. The Lungi Dance, You Have No Dance Item .. , Bijay Kant Dubey
  25. 25. Haiku 'My April Dance Dance' , Peter S. Quinn
  26. 26. Ghost Dance , Ray Lucero
  27. 27. You Think You Can Dance , Aldo Kraas
  28. 28. Life Is A Dance For You To Dance... , Maria Luisa Taylor
  29. 29. The Dawn Dance , Clarence Michael James Stani ..
  30. 30. Saturday Night Dance , Ernestine Northover
  31. 31. Don'T Dance Me To The End , gershon hepner
  32. 32. Dance Unto The Light , Katrina S. Lucas
  33. 33. Every Star That Dance For The Stars Danc.. , Raymond Sawyer
  34. 34. Dance A Multi-Coloured Dance Of Rainbow , Chris G. Vaillancourt
  35. 35. Basket Dance , Amy Lowell
  36. 36. Dance Quickly Now , Ben Paynter
  37. 37. The Banana Dance Haiku... , Peter S. Quinn
  38. 38. Dance, Dance, Dance , Salvadore Ponce De Leon
  39. 39. Life Is A Dance For You To Dance To , Emily Wimetal
  40. 40. Dance And Dance , gajanan mishra
  41. 41. A Abc Brazil Dance(Poem) By Cauchy3 , cheung shun sang
  42. 42. Blubber Visits The Dance Hall , Herbert Nehrlich
  43. 43. Candle Dance , Sylvia Chidi
  44. 44. Let’s Do The Rodeo Dance , Sylvia Chidi
  45. 45. Death With Dance , Otteri Selvakumar
  46. 46. Cloud Gate - Dance Theatre Of Taiwan , Alison Cassidy
  47. 47. Teaching Dance , Alison Cassidy
  48. 48. Nice Dance , Otteri Selvakumar
  49. 49. Lord Of The Dance , Aldo Kraas
  50. 50. Dance Of The Wind , Scarlett Treat
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