The Dancer


For We Write Poems prompt: Last Line As First Line

This prompt, authored by Nicole Nicholson, was to take the last line from another poem already written, and use it as the first line for a new poem. I used the last line to a much older poem, The Bone Woman, which may be found here:

The Dancer

Movement of her own music
swells within.
So she dances
toward all the chances
which flow around her.

Used to try to move
to notes of others.
Align her rhythms, her hands,
her very soul
to plans drawn on someone else’s

Found herself no more than vapor,
mist of vague kisses
blown from distances
too far to reach, lacking
complete understanding.

At last, began to listen
to what was there within,
what no one else could hear,
lacked the ear to comprehend.

Grew strong inside.
No longer wished to bend
muscles, tendons around
definitions only guessed
to be correct because another
said them.

Now, steps with ease to please
her finely owned senses. Has honed
her bones, all of her being
to whispered tones, she alone

Elizabeth Crawford  12/28/10

Note: Profuse thanks to Nicole for this one!

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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10 Responses to The Dancer

  1. Well now, this is a transition of art that must cleave every dancers ability to continue with their craft. You have adroitly captured the pain of following the direction others believe is your experience until one finds their own melodic chant with in, listening and dancing to one’s own symphony. Isn’t that what we all live a lifetime trying to do? I like it. Happy New Year Liz.


  2. pamela says:

    Elizabeth, reading this was like listening to a melody. Beautifully crafted piece.
    I hope you have a happy New Year. I am wishing you prosperity for the up and coming

    Pamela, I just read my horoscope and it is in agreement with you, lol. Thank you, and I wish the same for you and yours.



  3. So beautifully crafted! Heartfelt indeed! You speak with wisdom, not come by easily! It takes a long time, a lifetime….It’s a keeper for sure! Like a beautifully woven tapestry, encrusted with beautiful pearls.

    Ahh Annell, thank you for those generous words. This one was singing before it hit the page. I love it when that happens. It is joy and satisfaction doing a jitterbug with spirit, lol.



  4. Susannah says:

    What a wonderful and empowered piece of writing!

    “Movement of her own music
    swells within.
    So she dances”

    Oh yes! I love this Elizabeth!

    And I’m glad that you do. Of course, it is a metaphor for anyone who finds the deepest satisfaction in what they do and create. I think of my poems as my soul’s music and I but the vehicle for their message. I’m a slow-moving old woman and my bones creak, but on paper,with words, I definitely know I can sing and dance. I would think you must feel the same way. Thanks for your words, Susannah,



  5. Irene says:

    You’ve captured the dance of the inner life well. Agree vigorously. Peace and blessings for 2011, Elizabeth.

    And the same to you, Irene. The dance of the inner life doesn’t end until death, and then we’ll see what happens. I have a feeling that the more it is engaged in, activated, and exhaled, the more possibility it has of lasting long after its fragile vessel has gone to dust, and will continue to activate that energy within others who breathe deeply and find their own music. I find peace in that thought, as well as joy and satisfaction,



  6. Judy Roney says:

    Wow, what incredibly powerful words. May we all dance in this same way.

    Wow, right back at you, Judy. Wouldn’t that be a sight to see? I think I shall make that my mantra for 2011, that everyone learn to hear and dance to the rhythms of their own inner music. Thank you,



  7. vivinfrance says:

    Your poem made me want to dance to my own music. Its subtlety of construction is wonderful.

    Thank you Viv. Those are delightful words to hear. I still picture the two of us sitting outside engrossed in conversation. I also still think a lot about dancing, but can only do it while sitting down, now, lol. Not near as much fun, except when it is watching words dance on paper. Nothing actually beats that, right? Hope your New Year is filled with good things that warm you from the inside out, set you to dancing.



  8. Mary says:

    What a way to end the old year of writing, Elizabeth. Strong writing of the most personal kind. I like the strength of you I see in this poem. The last stanza says it all. May you keep composing your poetry and your life in 2011. (And, as an aside, may the Packers beat the Bears on Sunday!!)

    Mary, it is so good to hear that lift return to your voice. Am hoping it means you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. And am so glad you like the poem, I do too, lol. I certainly plan on continuing to compose my own form of music in the coming New Year, and certainly hope you will do the same. Although I know the Pack must beat the Bears, that old rivalry will have this town lit up, no matter the outcome. Hope your New Year sees a lot less stress and very soon,



  9. brenda w says:

    I felt proud to be a woman as I read this. It speaks of such female strength. Exquisitely crafted. Thank you for your work. ~Brenda

    And thank you for your wonderful words, Brenda. Makes me feel a deeper satisfaction about this poem, which I already liked a great deal. Thanks for ending my old year on such a high note, and wish you the best in the coming one,



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