by William Carlos Williams (p1009)
In Brueghel's great picture, The Kermess,
the dancers go round, they go round and
around, the squeal and the blare and the
tweedle of bagpipes, a bugle and fiddles
tipping their bellies (round as the thick-
sided glasses whose wash they impound)
their hips and their bellies off balance
to turn them. Kicking and rolling
about the Fair Grounds, swinging their butts, those
shanks must be sound to bear up under such
rollicking measures, prance as they dance
in Brueghel's great picture, The Kermess.
I liked Williams style of writing so much from last week that I decided to blog on another one of his poems. In short, The Dance, is a messy amalgamation of words and run-on sentences that somehow link together to form two sentences. However, this strange structure does an excellent job of paralelling his topic, “The Kermess”. Much like his poem, the painting itself illustrates a chaotic scene of villagers dancing, celebrating, and drinking.
Yet despite the array of words, Williams is able to carefully depict every little sound or activity. He is able to draw the reader into the festival, both seeing and hearing the frenzy with descriptions like “the squeal and the blare and the tweedle of bagpipes”, or “Kicking and rolling about the Fair Grounds, swinging their butts”.
And in case you’re wondering what these people were frolicking to… here’s a sample of Renaissance music I found on YouTube (notice the clothes they're in).