54 Ballet

William Carlos Williams

Are you not weary,
great gold cross
shining in the wind—
are you not weary{53}
of seeing the stars
turning over you
and the sun
going to his rest
and you frozen with
a great lie
that leaves you
rigid as a knight
on a marble coffin?
—and you,
higher, still,
untwisting a song
from the bare
are you not
weary of labor,
even the labor of
a song?
Come down—join me
for I am lonely.
First it will be
a quiet pace
to ease our stiffness
but as the west yellows
you will be ready!{54}
Here in the middle
of the roadway
we will fling
ourselves round
with dust lilies
till we are bound in
their twining stems!
We will tear
their flowers
with arms flashing!
And when
the astonished stars
push aside
their curtains
they will see us
fall exhausted where
wheels and
the pounding feet
of horses
will crush forth
our laughter.


“Ballet” by William Carlos Williams was originally published in 1917 in Al Que Quiere! A Book of Poems by William Carlos Williams. It is in the public domain and was accessed through Project Gutenberg here: https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/51997/pg51997-images.html.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Let's Read: A Collection of Texts for College Composition Copyright © 2021 by William Carlos Williams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book