Danse Russe

Original Text: 
William Carlos Williams, A Book of Poems. Al Que Quiere! (Boston: The Four Seas Company, 1917): 44-45. York University Library Special Collections 5773.
3are sleeping
4and the sun is a flame-white disc
5in silken mists
6above shining trees, --
7if I in my north room
8dance naked, grotesquely
9before my mirror
10waving my shirt round my head
11and singing softly to myself:
12"I am lonely, lonely.
13I was born to be lonely,
14I am best so!"
15if I admire my arms, my face
16my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
17against the yellow drawn shades, --
18who shall say I am not
19the happy genius of my household?


1] In 1916 the Ballets Russes, led by composer Sergei Diaghilev and dancer Waslaw Nijinsky, performed in New York (Litz and MacGowen, 486).
William married Florence (Flossie) Herman in 1912 and by fall 1916 they had two boys. Back to Line
2] Kathleen: Kathleen McBride, the Williams' orphan nanny. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Others 3.4 (Dec. 1916)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.