...The Dance...

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: dreamAGINED

This is a favorite poem of mine. It is not my best, but it is my favorite. I wrote it when I was 23...I modified it because I still haven't danced.

I once saw an artist

so old he was age old

with death spading his deuce.

I asked if he’d loved life,

or was it all for nothing?

He simply replied,

“Young man, I have danced.  I have danced in the rain, and I have danced

on the pavements of smooth city streets.  You ask if it was for nothing,

and I will tell you I have danced.”

I pondered upon this for quite some time now,

and in thirty-nine years of living

I still haven’t danced.

I encountered the same artist

again last week . . .

He was painting the songs of voices he saw in the streets,

so I asked him to tell me a bit more about the dance.

He laughed a little as he passed me some wine, and

He simply replied,

“Young man, I have danced.  I have danced for fine wine; I have danced for beautiful women,

and I have danced for me.  You once asked if it was all for nothing,

and I still will tell you I have danced.”

And so for the remainder of my life, I will continue to ponder

and ascertain the meaning behind the dance,

but the only thing I can tell you, man . . .

is I still haven’t danced.

Submitted: April 10, 2012

© Copyright 2022 jmurch. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



I really like this! Great use of a metaphor.

Wed, April 11th, 2012 12:12am


Thank you for your comment. I will actually be checking out your novel. It may take me a few days to get through, I am sure. This depends on its size. I will convert it for use on my Nook. In the meantime, feel free to read more of my writing. I recomend I am the son of a vietnam vet or World so dark (the dream). They are very powerful and close to my heart pieces. I will also fan you since you took the time to comment me. You can also do the same if you like sharing your writing with an honest down to earth person. Thank you!

Tue, April 10th, 2012 6:35pm

Ian Dawn

I have only started to learn to dance but when I do I want it to be teh salsa! lol nice work dude.

Sun, April 15th, 2012 10:59pm


I know this poem is not as dark as some of mine (or yours for that matter) but of all the ones I wrote, this is my personal favorite. It is a hell of a course change off my usual route, however. I just wanted to share an artistic feeling with all the friends of the pen! Thank you!

Sun, April 15th, 2012 6:27pm


This poem is just amazing. It really makes one think, there is absolutely no time to waste, we gotta dance! :) Keep writing jmurch!

Mon, April 16th, 2012 7:45pm


The true name of this poem is the Dance. Please do not laugh. When I was looking at your portfolio, and I saw the list of titles...I just about choked! I had not thought about putting a number, underscore, or symbol in this because the name already existed. I wish I had. I feel like I let my favorite poem down. Thank you so much for reading this piece. It is weak in comparison to my other pieces, but it is my personal favorite. All time!

Tue, April 17th, 2012 5:42pm


I quite liked this poem. Liked the encounter between you as the speaker and the old man. Love the dancing. It's so right. And how do you know your daughters haven't seen their daddy dancing? Bet you they did! There is a lightness to this piece and a light that shines through it. I truly enjoyed this poem.
Kindest regards, Wilbur/Connie

Sat, April 21st, 2012 5:45pm


I really appreciate your comments about this poem in particular. It is always a personal favorite of mine. I wish more people enjoyed it. I shared it with others off this site, and no one ever really understands the message I was attempting to share. They like my darker stuff. It is the poem that most tries to emulate what I carry inside me. I may have never danced, but the dance is deep inside me. Thank you for reading this poem. Your friend in the pen...jmurch

Sat, April 21st, 2012 10:57am


Hi, as you can see Im slowly working my way through your portfolio. I immediately felt this would make a fantastic song! I can just see the old man sipping his wine, brush in hand and with vibrance tell you about his life filled with dancing.
You should try it, dancing, when you are by yourself think about the good things/people in your life and dance, im sure it will flow...
Great write!!

Mon, April 23rd, 2012 5:07pm


This poem is actually my favorite piece. I do not know if it has much talent to it like other pieces, but it carries my love in it. It is my fantasy. I want to be that artist on the street corner. I do not want to be ordinary. If you ever want to find the piece which connects to my soul, this is the piece. Maybe, it is a fantasy I can never have. I do not know. I do know this poem is the dearest to my heart. I do not know if I will ever write another poem I love as much. Thank you for giving this one a shot! I look forward to reading more of your work. I just looked at your poem about looking through old memories. I really connected to this piece. I gave a beast of a comment for this one!:)It is not often someone elses writing connects to me the way your poem in particular did. Your comments are sincerely appreciated Murnik!

Mon, April 23rd, 2012 4:51pm


Wow the dad man also known as"dad the man,
the myth,
the legend"
I love the poem u wrote up there it is great.oh and thanks for the comment on smiles.xoxoxoxo-roses

Sun, June 10th, 2012 9:04pm


I figured you would love this piece Tatyanna! It is a poem about being an artist...:)

Sun, June 10th, 2012 2:15pm


I like your story telling ability! It's a pretty little poem with so much said. Great talent. I think I'm going to stop trying to write :P

Tue, June 26th, 2012 6:10pm


If I have a personal favorite poem of the ones I wrote, this poem is the one closest to my heart. I honestly can say it is not a fan favorite to date, but it is a poem I would want read at a funeral if I died tomorrow. Knock on wood! :) I am always happy to share this piece, and I am glad you got a peek at the poem closest to my heart. Thank you!

Thu, June 28th, 2012 1:11pm


Inspiring piece, ful of life. Good work enjoyed reading it !!

Sat, December 8th, 2012 11:21am


I have probably said this before in prior comments, but this is my favorite piece. I do not believe it is my most talented piece, but it is my favorite. When I die as we all do eventually, well...this would be what I want read. Why? I feel it is the piece which captures the essence of my soul. Thank you Ashi17. It is always great to hear from someone as talented as yourself. :)

Mon, December 31st, 2012 1:26pm


Just like in the film THE ARTIST this kind of paints a picture of a glorious and illustrious past brought back through vivid memories.

Mon, February 18th, 2013 2:30pm


I have netflix. I should look up this movie. As I often tell my readers, I am an artist first and writer second. This movie seems to want me to view it. I will see if I can find it. :)

Sun, February 24th, 2013 10:31am


Wow! I am completely blown away by the manner you intricately and delicately combine words to make such a stunning poem about a troubled artist. Its very fascinating! I'll keep browsing for more of your fine works!

Tue, November 17th, 2015 1:57pm


Why thank you very much for the insightful comment. I also wish you a warm welcome to Booksie. Definitely update me on your novel as you add chapters.

Tue, November 17th, 2015 6:00am


I really love your writing voice. It's strong, thought provoking, and very beautiful. Your use of imagery and metaphor is truly wonderful. Keep writing! :)

Tue, November 17th, 2015 5:48pm


This is not always a fan favorite, but it is my personal favorite, so I am glad you enjoyed it. I wrote it when I was young but I'm forty-two years of living, I still haven't danced. The original hand written piece was when I was twenty- three.

Tue, November 17th, 2015 2:26pm

Criss Sole

I read this one a few times. A very enchanting piece of writing. I loved it.

Sat, November 21st, 2015 8:31am


I like sharing this piece. It is my poem for the artistic soul. It hasn't always been a fan favorite, but it is my favorite piece. I definitely love it when someone finds my treasured writing. It gives you a chance to see the true thoughts of my brain. Thank you again, my friend of the pen.

Sat, November 21st, 2015 1:46pm


I enjoy this poem very much, it expresses to me a great many things. I do not know if intended or not but It is hard to dance, when the tempo keeps changing isn't it? The poem's almost driving the point for me of one needing your own drum than someone else's in order to dance properly.

I think this poem clearly shows you already succeeding in dancing. :) I can tell why it is you had said this was your personal favorite, it holds a vulnerability if one were to listen for it and a need/desire to live life beyond being sated with just drawing breath. Also, the vulnerability in daring to wish to write, draw, paint, express any sort of creativity, and standing next to a Great, in the craft, and wondering.... how.

Self doubt is a ....*clears throat* even when you out dance many, like this poem of yours does.

Anyways.Thank you for suggesting reading it. I enjoyed it greatly.
Take care and be well
E. VA.

Wed, December 9th, 2015 10:59am


You seem to have found the spirit beneat this piece. I welcome your thoughtful comment on this piece because it is my favorite. I want it read at my funeral...not that I plan on dying anytime soon. Creepy lol. I feel this piece captured my never ending need to find, well, me. It is my never ending desire to find the purpose behind my creativity. I feel that I have not lived my life to the fullest, and I have never found the invisible dance. This is the dance of my life...will I ever master the steps? Thank you, my talented friend of the pen! It makes me feel awesome to hear from a writer of your level to find good in my work.

Wed, December 9th, 2015 6:18am

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