“Danse Russe” by William Carlos Williams is a poem about the beauty and grace of the Russian dance. The poem describes the dancers as they twirl and leap across the stage, their movements seeming to defy gravity. The poem ends with a sense of awe and wonder at the beauty of the dance and the dancers.
“If a poem isn’t memorable, there’s probably something wrong,” wrote Robert Morgan. “One of the difficulties with free verse is that much of it is not memorable.” Most people believe that in order to create great poetry, one must adhere to a certain type of meter. In reality, there are a plethora of methods to create wonderful poetry; one example would be free verse.
William Carlos Williams was one of the first people to use free verse in his poem “Danse Russe”. In this poem, he uses enjambment which gives the poem a fast pace. This is seen in lines such as: “I am lonely, / I am sick of an old, stale love” and “I am lonely, / I want to get away.” The use of enjambment also makes the poem more mysterious as the reader does not know where the poem is going to go next.
Another reason why this poem is great is because of its use of imagery. The opening line, “I danced all night, / I am lonely,” paints a picture of a person who is dancing by themselves in a dark room. This image is then reinforced in the next line, “I want to get away.” The reader can see the person getting more and more frustrated as they dance.
The last reason this poem is successful is because of its use of repetition. The phrase “I am lonely” is repeated three times throughout the poem. This gives the reader a sense of the character’s emotional state and makes them feel empathy for the character.
Traditional and formal rules, as well as rhythmic patterns, are used in free verse poetry to structure it. There are various free verse elements that may be utilized to construct a distinct structure if the poet chooses to forego aspects of regular meter and traditional poetic poems. Unlike normal poetry, poets are permitted to devise their own pattern in order to convey the emotions they wish to communicate.
William Carlos Williams’s “Danse Russe” is an excellent example of how free verse can be used to great effect.
The poem is written in iambic pentameter, which gives it a stable and formal feeling despite its lack of regular rhyme scheme. The first two stanzas are each made up of five iambic pentameter lines, while the third stanza has six lines. This variation helps to create a sense of movement and energy, which is appropriate for a poem about dancing.
In addition to its use of iambic pentameter, “Danse Russe” also employs enjambment extensively. This technique helps to create a sense of forward momentum, as each line flows smoothly into the next. This is again fitting for a poem about dancing, which is all about movement.
The poem’s title, “Danse Russe,” also helps to create a sense of movement. The word “danse” is French for “dance,” while “russe” means “Russian.” This gives the impression of a foreign dance, something that is perhaps new and exciting. This ties in with the overall theme of the poem, which is about experiencing new things.
Overall, “Danse Russe” is a well-crafted poem that makes use of many different poetic techniques to create a sense of energy and movement. It is an excellent example of how free verse can be used to great effect.
To construct his own structure that will be interesting to the reader, Williams employs a lot of repetition of sound in Danse Russe and free verse to create his own structure that would pique interest. The design he develops does an excellent job of tying in with the emotional or imaginative impact he is attempting to achieve. William uses enjambment, end-stopping, assonance, and other techniques to ensure that the reader focuses on key sections and emphasizes important points by repeating sounds. These patterns work with the sense of liberty inherent in free verse.
Enjambment is a good way to keep the reader focused on what is being said, and also allows for a lot of space between words. This poem uses enjambment a lot, which gives it an ebb and flow. The use of end-stopping also allows for there to be a focus on certain things said in the poem. Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds, and can also help to create a pattern that the reader can follow.
The title of this poem, “Danse Russe”, definitely sets the tone. It’s mysterious, and perhaps even a little bit dangerous sounding. The subject matter of the poem seems to deal with some sort of loss or change, which is also reflected in the title.
All in all, “Danse Russe” is a very interesting poem that uses a lot of different techniques to keep the reader engaged. The use of enjambment, end-stopping, and assonance create a flowing pattern that helps to connect the reader to the emotional core of the poem.
In Danse Russe, William Carlos Williams creates a sensation of liberation and looseness. For example, Williams states, “if I in my north room/dance naked, grotesquely/before my mirror/waving my shirt around my head.” (7-10) In these lines, Williams depicts an elderly gentleman who has had a long day and needs to let off some steam by freely dancing in his room alone.
The character in this poem is living free without worry while he can. When the man stands in front of the mirror with guilt or shame on his face, Williams gives the reader a feeling of insecurity or disgrace.
In lines eleven and twelve Williams states,“who shall say I am not/the happy genius of my household?”(11-12). The man in the poem is wondering if anyone will judge him for his dancing, but he doesn’t care because he is happy with himself.
Williams then goes on to write about how the people around him perceive him, and how they think he should spend his time. In lines thirteen through sixteen Williams writes “I am mad to live/mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of/everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”(13-16). In these lines the speaker is saying how he wants to live his life, and how others see him as someone who is different, and unique.
The speaker in this poem is free to do as he pleases because he has no one to answer to except for himself. Williams uses the phrase “mad to live” which gives the speaker a sense of being reckless, and not caring about what others think about him.
The speaker in this poem is comfortable with who he is, and doesn’t try to be anyone else but himself.
Williams writes “Who shall say I am not the happy genius of my household?” (11-12), which shows how the speaker is content with who he is, and doesn’t try to be anyone else.
In conclusion, Danse Russe is a poem about a man who is comfortable with himself, and doesn’t care about what others think of him. The man in this poem is free to do as he pleases, and lives his life how he wants to.