56 Danse Russe

William Carlos Williams

If I when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,—
if I in my north room
danse naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
“I am lonely, lonely.{45}
I was born to be lonely.
I am best so!”
If I admire my arms, my face
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,—
who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

“Danse Russe” 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/.


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