Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DOROTHY DANCES, by LOUIS UNTERMEYER



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DOROTHY DANCES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This is no child that dances. This is flame
Last Line: It is enough that flesh has danced with flame.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Michael
Subject(s): Dancing & Dancers


This is no child that dances. This is flame.
Here fire at last has found its natural frame.

What else is that which burns and flies
From those enkindled eyes. . . .
What is that inner blaze
Which plays
About that lighted face. . . .
This thing is fire set free --
Fire possesses her, or rather she
Controls its mastery.
With every gesture, every rhythmic stride,
Beat after beat,
It follows, purring at her side,
Or licks the shadows of her flashing feet.
Around her everywhere
It coils its threads of yellow hair;
Through every vein its bright blood creeps,
And its red hands
Caress her as she stands
Or lift her boldly when she leaps.
Then, as the surge
Of radiance grows stronger
These two are two no longer
And they merge
Into a disembodied ecstasy;
Free
To express some half-forgotten hunger,
Some half-forbidden urge.

What mystery
Has been at work until it blent
One child and that fierce element?
Give it no name.
It is enough that flesh has danced with flame.





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