Sunday, March 29, 2015

Poetry Sunday

My long-time readers will know that one of my great loves is ballroom dancing, and those who have known me still longer will also know that this was hardly a pre-ordained thing. As a typical young American man, I had no particular interest in dancing ... I only learned the American clutch-and-shuffle because my mother patiently taught me in the basement to get me ready to take to the dance floor at my high-school junior prom* back in the mid-jurassic era. It wasn't until I met and married Agnes that I was introduced to the art and sport of ballroom dancing ... a sport that, unlike most others, doesn't involve getting sweaty and miserable in a gym, but learning endurance and grace while holding on to a beautifully-dressed lady. What's not to like?

Which brings us to the subject of today's poem by Margaret Atwood ...

by Margaret Atwood

It was my father taught my mother
how to dance.
I never knew that.
I thought it was the other way.
Ballroom was their style,
a graceful twirling,
curved arms and fancy footwork,
a green-eyed radio.
There is always more than you know.
There are always boxes
put away in the cellar,
worn shoes and cherished pictures,
notes you find later,
sheet music you can’t play.
A woman came on Wednesdays
with tapes of waltzes.
She tried to make him shuffle
around the floor with her.
She said it would be good for him.
He didn’t want to.

If you don't dance, try it out. There's no telling what skills and what enjoyment are in those boxes put away in your mental cellar. And good luck and best wishes to my friends who are competing this weekend in the River City Ballroom Dance Competition in Richmond, and in the USA Dance Nationals in Baltimore. Break multiple legs!!

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


* I hope that, after all these years, Nancy's feet have finally recovered from the stomping I gave them.


Duckbutt said...

That's unusual that your father taught your mother to dance. I wished I learned to dance better.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I didn't know that Margaret Atwood wrote poetry.

Mike said...

I didn't know Margaret Atwood wrote poetry either. ...... Who's Margaret Atwood....

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

It's a nice poem!

Deena said...

You have a romantic side Bilbo