The Dance

The Dance

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


'The Dance' from The Collected Poems: Volume II 1939-1962 (New Directions, 1989), used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. The recording was made on May 5, 1945 at the Recording Laboratory, Library of Congress, Washington DC, and is used with permission of the Library of Congress.

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Books & cds by William Carlos Williams