About The Dead Woman and The Dream of Red Shoes


For We Write Poems prompt: Revisionist Writing

About The Dead Woman and The Dream of Red Shoes

The dead woman couldn’t see her feet, of course.
The dead woman couldn’t feel them, either.
So, she dreamed. She dreamed of dancing through eternity.
The dead woman danced with a cave man.
She dreamed of dancing with a pauper, a prince, and a political appointee,
     a chef, a truck driver, an accountant, a research biologist, and a university professor.
But, none of them noticed because she was a dead woman.
The dead woman laughed, she sang, she threw herself into the dance. She moved.
She knew she was no more than a fleeting whisper, momentary vapor, a slip of air
     to be brushed away with a flick of a finger, a shake of the head.
The dead woman went right on dancing, trying to be whatever was needed.
She so wanted to be something more than invisible, more than dead.

More About The Dead Woman and The Dream of Red Shoes

The dead woman dreamed through eternity and into the next, until  she dreamed of red shoes.
The color excited her, spoke of passion, pursuit, put-off, prolonged dreams finding fulfillment.
She dreamed of sneakers, velvet slippers, flats and strappy stilettos, died leather moccasins, and hard
     vinyl crocs, all of them red: red like blood, like living.
The dead woman dreamed that all women everywhere wore red shoes.
She dreamed of maids and matriarchs dancing their dreams to fruition.
The dead woman dreamed through two eternities, until the Universe was filled with laughing women,
     all moving to fulfill their individual dreams in red shoes.
The dead woman was satisfied, happy with her dreaming creation.
She rested.

Elizabeth Crawford  1/11/11

Process Notes: The first dead woman poem I wrote, was about the red shoes. I did not stick completely to form, was playing with it. But, was never completely satisfied with what I had done. Have wanted to go back and redo it, if not completely to form, closer to that. Then I saw today’s prompt and knew it was time. Went back and reread the first poem and found what I wanted to do. Realized that although in that poem, I had begun by saying the dead woman invented red shoes, I didn’t explain what that might be, or mean. So, this is my revisit to the first poem, and my “reseeing” of that thought process. The first poem can be found here:


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: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in The Dead Woman and The Dream of Red Shoes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to About The Dead Woman and The Dream of Red Shoes

  1. Elizabeth, I SO LOVE THIS POEM!!!!! It made me smile so much, the vision of all the women dancing in all the red shoes (even red crocs! someone must invent them QUICK!!!!) “dancing their dreams to fruition”….this is BRILLIANT. I so totally love it! Good work!

    Thank you, Sherry, I was smiling a lot while writing it. Glad you enjoyed,



  2. Yes, I love this! I is said so beautifully! Would you rather this one, or the other, or both?

    Lol, Annell, both though this one should go first, even though written last. I like ‘reseeing’ a poem when this sort of thing happens. Happy to know it pleased you,



  3. mroby says:

    Your poems always evoke strong responses in me and this one brought poignancy and laughter. What a wonderful creation myth and a satisfactory working of the dead man form.

    Hi Margo, and it occurred to me that Dead Woman poems would have to be different than Dead Man poetry. We really don’t share the same history. We own a different way of knowing. And I didn’t realize til I wrote the last line that I was making a creation myth. I love it when that happens. So glad you enjoyed it,



  4. pamela says:

    Elizabeth, I remember quite well the first one and how much I liked it.
    This one is equally as good. I love those red shoes!

    Pamela, something in me seems to like them a lot as well, lol. It’s such an old story with so much symbolism and meaning that it’s hard to stay away from. In the original version, the woman was danced to death by the red shoes. It would seem to be a perfect fit for this type of poem. Thanks for your generous words, as usual,



  5. poetrydiary says:

    I like your new poem very much: it draws me in from the first two lines and the dead woman’s frustration has to be resolved, so it has a power and strength and satisfaction that your first version has to work harder to create. They are both great.


    Thank you Matthew, I’m fairly certain that a bit of familiarity with the form itself helped a great deal, but I also feel the two pieces go together. I’m glad you enjoyed them,



  6. Irene says:

    Elizabeth, I prefer this version. I like that you played with the creation myth. (don’t own any red shoes myself)

    Irene, I’ve only owned one pair and wore them to my youngest daughter’s wedding. And I didn’t really know I was playing with a creation myth until the ending. Then went back and saw it and laughed with delight. Mythmaking is fun. Glad you like it,



  7. vivinfrance says:

    I love the pace of this, the breathless quality – and all the different kinds of shoes!

    My first full time job, I found I had a bit of a shoe fetish. The first thing I did when I got my paycheck was to go to the shoe store and buy new shoes. When I got married, we had a double closet that stretched across one entire wall. The floor on my side, had three rows of shoes on it, lol. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I get a new pair of shoes every three or four years. Oh, and by the way, none of those shoes were red. That came later after a great deal of dreaming, lol. Glad you enjoyed it Viv, I certainly did,



  8. neil reid says:

    Elizabeth you really make me want to write one of these types of poems myself (that’s meaning to be appreciative in the best of sense). I like this poem, like “wow” I mean. I love the rich threads of images, and yes, it feels more (right?) than the first version, although I was much impressed by that one too.

    Other things seem to keep nibbling me away in other directions right now, however all the most appreciated poems I read do make me want to do the same on my own. Good poems I much believe, inspire more to be writ as well.

    Based on the wonderful results I continue to read, we are definitely going to do this revisionist prompt again someday! Thanks.

    Neil, I’m not so sure this was all that revisionist. I think this one started creating itself as soon as the first one was finished. It actually should be read before the first one, its like an intro to that. And who knows, if I dream and dance long enough there may be even more. I do find that I like what happens with this form and would like to see more of the poets try it out and play with it.

    But, I know what you mean. I am often inspired by the poetry I read online. It certainly gets the juices flowing and the mind following down strange new paths. I’m glad you liked it and yes, the revisionist idea is worth some future play.



  9. Elizabeth, I love the dead woman. She is actually quite like me when I’m in a manic state, except for the invisible part (which can be somewhat embarrassing!!).

    Your images of her dancing partners, her timeless swirl through eternity… all so wonderful to absorb.

    “When I am a dead woman, I shall wear red shoes!!” Peace, Amy

    Amy, why wait until one is dead? The whole idea behind the red shoes is that of dancing to ones own dreams, seeing them to fruition and perhaps beyond that to even more. And the invisibility thing is all too real now that I am over 60. And I did write another dead woman poem about just that. I like this dead woman, she is obviously still breathing whether others know it or not. Thanks for stopping and commenting,



  10. Susannah says:

    I SO loved this Elizabeth! It has such an empowered feeling to it! Nice work. 🙂

    Thanks so much, Susannah. I like that idea of empowerment. Before I put it in the kudo box, I think I will have to think about that a lot.



  11. connetta says:

    This is a good one…made me smile. I felt jealous. I should of thought of that!…i think this poem needs no more work. It’s perfect – really.

    Thank you Connetta, I just said the same thing to another poet this morning, lol. And this poem gave me a deep joy even as I wrote it, not knowing where it would take me. It was a surprise because it is an accumulation of several different things that could not have come together had I not explored some of the strange paths I have walked. I love it when that happens,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s