the dance upon our toes ~

the dance upon our toes ~

I watched the most amazing half-hour series yesterday — Poetry in America’s 1st episode in this spring’s offerings. Centred on the iconic Emily Dickinson, and her poem “I cannot dance upon my toes,” it’s one of the few poetry specials I remember to make manifest the links poetry has to other fine arts. Specifically, music & dance.

Yo-Yo Ma ably represents the music side of things, playing the cello as if it was a voice reading. His incredible fingering & bowing turn the simplest rill of notes into something astonishing, much as Dickinson takes ordinary words & creates an image that stuns.

Dancer Jill Johnson, poet Marie Howe, and actress Cynthia Nixon (who plays Emily Dickinson in film) join host Elisa New in unfolding the layered origami of Dickinson’s poetry. It’s astonishing, and so worth watching!

In other poetic business, NaPoWriMo’s prompt today is magick! Seriously —  use magic(k) in your poem. It’s good practice! And here’s mine — a fusion of yesterday’s prompt (which I missed!) & today’s:

She finds herself dividing like a cell

Is it mitosis or meiosis ~ she doesn’t

quite remember. Perhaps the brain

is what does not cross over.

Perhaps the cells cannot communicate.

It was never easy.

 

This cell   this one she lives in now

neatly divided   borders clean-edged

is the mother   the wife   the sister/daughter

she from whom the other cells draw energy

 

That cell   the one of brilliant colours

as formless as internal music

pleochroic    emerald ruby citrine

is who she might have been

who she is    sometimes

in her dreams. Messily bordered

without shape or form.

 

And somewhere in the middle

is the space that neither one inhabits

that void of becoming

before the words begin.