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Best Famous Dance Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Dance poems. This is a select list of the best famous Dance poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Dance poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of dance poems.

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Written by Maya Angelou | |

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise I rise I rise.


Written by Christopher Marlowe | |

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

COME live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.
There will we sit upon the rocks And see the shepherds feed their flocks, By shallow rivers, to whose falls Melodious birds sing madrigals.
There will I make thee beds of roses And a thousand fragrant posies, A cap of flowers, and a kirtle Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.
A gown made of the finest wool Which from our pretty lambs we pull, Fair linèd slippers for the cold, With buckles of the purest gold.
A belt of straw and ivy buds With coral clasps and amber studs: And if these pleasures may thee move, Come live with me and be my Love.
Thy silver dishes for thy meat As precious as the gods do eat, Shall on an ivory table be Prepared each day for thee and me.
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing For thy delight each May-morning: If these delights thy mind may move, Then live with me and be my Love.


Written by William Wordsworth | |

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud 
That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 
When all at once I saw a crowd, 
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed - and gazed - but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.


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Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | |

Footsteps of Angels

WHEN the hours of Day are numbered  
And the voices of the Night 
Wake the better soul that slumbered  
To a holy calm delight; 

Ere the evening lamps are lighted 5 
And like phantoms grim and tall  
Shadows from the fitful firelight 
Dance upon the parlor wall; 

Then the forms of the departed 
Enter at the open door; 10 
The beloved the true-hearted  
Come to visit me once more; 

He the young and strong who cherished 
Noble longings for the strife  
By the roadside fell and perished 15 
Weary with the march of life! 

They the holy ones and weakly  
Who the cross of suffering bore  
Folded their pale hands so meekly  
Spake with us on earth no more! 20 

And with them the Being Beauteous  
Who unto my youth was given  
More than all things else to love me  
And is now a saint in heaven.
With a slow and noiseless footstep 25 Comes that messenger divine Takes the vacant chair beside me Lays her gentle hand in mine.
And she sits and gazes at me With those deep and tender eyes 30 Like the stars so still and saint-like Looking downward from the skies.
Uttered not yet comprehended Is the spirit's voiceless prayer Soft rebukes in blessings ended 35 Breathing from her lips of air.
Oh though oft depressed and lonely All my fears are laid aside If I but remember only Such as these have lived and died! 40


Written by Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings | |

Anyone Lived In A Pretty How Town

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men(both little and samll)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their
same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by moe they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april

wish by spirit and if by yes

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer sutumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain


Written by Wang Wei | |

A SONG OF A GIRL FROM LOYANG

There's a girl from Loyang in the door across the street, 
She looks fifteen, she may be a little older.
.
.
.
While her master rides his rapid horse with jade bit an bridle, Her handmaid brings her cod-fish in a golden plate.
On her painted pavilions, facing red towers, Cornices are pink and green with peach-bloom and with willow, Canopies of silk awn her seven-scented chair, And rare fans shade her, home to her nine-flowered curtains.
Her lord, with rank and wealth and in the bud of life, Exceeds in munificence the richest men of old.
He favours this girl of lowly birth, he has her taught to dance; And he gives away his coral-trees to almost anyone.
The wind of dawn just stirs when his nine soft lights go out, Those nine soft lights like petals in a flying chain of flowers.
Between dances she has barely time for singing over the songs; No sooner is she dressed again than incense burns before her.
Those she knows in town are only the rich and the lavish, And day and night she is visiting the hosts of the gayest mansions.
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.
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Who notices the girl from Yue with a face of white jade, Humble, poor, alone, by the river, washing silk?


Written by Wallace Stevens | |

Six Significant Landscapes

I
An old man sits
In the shadow of a pine tree
In China.
He sees larkspur, Blue and white, At the edge of the shadow, Move in the wind.
His beard moves in the wind.
The pine tree moves in the wind.
Thus water flows Over weeds.
II The night is of the colour Of a woman's arm: Night, the female, Obscure, Fragrant and supple, Conceals herself.
A pool shines, Like a bracelet Shaken in a dance.
III I measure myself Against a tall tree.
I find that I am much taller, For I reach right up to the sun, With my eye; And I reach to the shore of the sea With my ear.
Nevertheless, I dislike The way ants crawl In and out of my shadow.
IV When my dream was near the moon, The white folds of its gown Filled with yellow light.
The soles of its feet Grew red.
Its hair filled With certain blue crystallizations From stars, Not far off.
V Not all the knives of the lamp-posts, Nor the chisels of the long streets, Nor the mallets of the domes And high towers, Can carve What one star can carve, Shining through the grape-leaves.
VI Rationalists, wearing square hats, Think, in square rooms, Looking at the floor, Looking at the ceiling.
They confine themselves To right-angled triangles.
If they tried rhomboids, Cones, waving lines, ellipses -- As, for example, the ellipse of the half-moon -- Rationalists would wear sombreros.


Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | |

Come down O Maid

COME down, O maid, from yonder mountain height: 
What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang), 
In height and cold, the splendour of the hills? 
But cease to move so near the Heavens, and cease 
To glide a sunbeam by the blasted Pine, 5 
To sit a star upon the sparkling spire; 
And come, for Love is of the valley, come, 
For Love is of the valley, come thou down 
And find him; by the happy threshold, he, 
Or hand in hand with Plenty in the maize, 10 
Or red with spirted purple of the vats, 
Or foxlike in the vine; nor cares to walk 
With Death and Morning on the silver horns, 
Nor wilt thou snare him in the white ravine, 
Nor find him dropt upon the firths of ice, 15 
That huddling slant in furrow-cloven falls 
To roll the torrent out of dusky doors: 
But follow; let the torrent dance thee down 
To find him in the valley; let the wild 
Lean-headed Eagles yelp alone, and leave 20 
The monstrous ledges there to slope, and spill 
Their thousand wreaths of dangling water-smoke, 
That like a broken purpose waste in air: 
So waste not thou; but come; for all the vales 
Await thee; azure pillars of the hearth 25 
Arise to thee; the children call, and I 
Thy shepherd pipe, and sweet is every sound, 
Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is sweet; 
Myriads of rivulets hurrying thro' the lawn, 
The moan of doves in immemorial elms, 30 
And murmuring of innumerable bees.


Written by Wang Wei | |

SONG OF AN OLD GENERAL

When he was a youth of fifteen or twenty, 
He chased a wild horse, he caught him and rode him, 
He shot the white-browed mountain tiger, 
He defied the yellow-bristled Horseman of Ye.
Fighting single- handed for a thousand miles, With his naked dagger he could hold a multitude.
.
.
.
Granted that the troops of China were as swift as heaven's thunder And that Tartar soldiers perished in pitfalls fanged with iron, General Wei Qing's victory was only a thing of chance.
And General Li Guang's thwarted effort was his fate, not his fault.
Since this man's retirement he is looking old and worn: Experience of the world has hastened his white hairs.
Though once his quick dart never missed the right eye of a bird, Now knotted veins and tendons make his left arm like an osier.
He is sometimes at the road-side selling melons from his garden, He is sometimes planting willows round his hermitage.
His lonely lane is shut away by a dense grove, His vacant window looks upon the far cold mountains But, if he prayed, the waters would come gushing for his men And never would he wanton his cause away with wine.
.
.
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War-clouds are spreading, under the Helan Range; Back and forth, day and night, go feathered messages; In the three River Provinces, the governors call young men -- And five imperial edicts have summoned the old general.
So he dusts his iron coat and shines it like snow- Waves his dagger from its jade hilt in a dance of starry steel.
He is ready with his strong northern bow to smite the Tartar chieftain -- That never a foreign war-dress may affront the Emperor.
.
.
.
There once was an aged Prefect, forgotten and far away, Who still could manage triumph with a single stroke.


Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | |

Maud

COME into the garden, Maud, 
For the black bat, Night, has flown, 
Come into the garden, Maud, 
I am here at the gate alone; 
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad, 5 
And the musk of the roses blown.
For a breeze of morning moves, And the planet of Love is on high, Beginning to faint in the light that she loves On a bed of daffodil sky, 10 To faint in the light of the sun she loves, To faint in his light, and to die.
All night have the roses heard The flute, violin, bassoon; All night has the casement jessamine stirr'd 15 To the dancers dancing in tune; Till a silence fell with the waking bird, And a hush with the setting moon.
I said to the lily, 'There is but one With whom she has heart to be gay.
20 When will the dancers leave her alone? She is weary of dance and play.
' Now half to the setting moon are gone, And half to the rising day; Low on the sand and loud on the stone 25 The last wheel echoes away.
I said to the rose, 'The brief night goes In babble and revel and wine.
O young lord-lover, what sighs are those For one that will never be thine? 30 But mine, but mine,' so I sware to the rose, 'For ever and ever, mine.
' And the soul of the rose went into my blood, As the music clash'd in the hall; And long by the garden lake I stood, 35 For I heard your rivulet fall From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood, Our wood, that is dearer than all; From the meadow your walks have left so sweet That whenever a March-wind sighs 40 He sets the jewel-print of your feet In violets blue as your eyes, To the woody hollows in which we meet And the valleys of Paradise.
The slender acacia would not shake 45 One long milk-bloom on the tree; The white lake-blossom fell into the lake, As the pimpernel dozed on the lea; But the rose was awake all night for your sake, Knowing your promise to me; 50 The lilies and roses were all awake, They sigh'd for the dawn and thee.
Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls, Come hither, the dances are done, In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls, 55 Queen lily and rose in one; Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls.
To the flowers, and be their sun.
There has fallen a splendid tear From the passion-flower at the gate.
60 She is coming, my dove, my dear; She is coming, my life, my fate; The red rose cries, 'She is near, she is near;' And the white rose weeps, 'She is late;' The larkspur listens, 'I hear, I hear;' 65 And the lily whispers, 'I wait.
' She is coming, my own, my sweet; Were it ever so airy a tread, My heart would hear her and beat, Were it earth in an earthy bed; 70 My dust would hear her and beat, Had I lain for a century dead; Would start and tremble under her feet, And blossom in purple and red.


Written by Sir Walter Scott | |

Lochinvar

Oh! young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
And save his good broadsword he weapons had none.
He rode all unarmed and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love and so dauntless in war, There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.
He stayed not for brake and he stopped not for stone, He swam the Eske river where ford there was none, But ere he alighted at Netherby gate The bride had consented, the gallant came late: For a laggard in love and a dastard in war Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.
So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall, Among bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all: Then spoke the bride’s father, his hand on his sword, For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word, ‘Oh! come ye in peace here, or come ye in war, Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?’ ‘I long wooed your daughter, my suit you denied; Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide And now am I come, with this lost love of mine, To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far, That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar.
’ The bride kissed the goblet; the knight took it up, He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup, She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh, With a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand ere her mother could bar, ‘Now tread we a measure!’ said young Lochinvar.
So stately his form, and so lovely her face, That never a hall such a galliard did grace; While her mother did fret, and her father did fume, And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume; And the bride-maidens whispered ‘’Twere better by far To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar.
’ One touch to her hand and one word in her ear, When they reached the hall-door, and the charger stood near; So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung, So light to the saddle before her he sprung! ‘She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur; They’ll have fleet steeds that follow,’ quoth young Lochinvar.
There was mounting ’mong Graemes of the Netherby clan; Fosters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran: There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee, But the lost bride of Netherby ne’er did they see.
So daring in love and so dauntless in war, Have ye e’er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?


Written by Galway Kinnell | |

The Bear

1
In late winter 
I sometimes glimpse bits of steam
coming up from
some fault in the old snow 
and bend close and see it is lung-colored 
and put down my nose
and know
the chilly, enduring odor of bear.
2 I take a wolf's rib and whittle it sharp at both ends and coil it up and freeze it in blubber and place it out on the fairway of the bears.
And when it has vanished I move out on the bear tracks, roaming in circles until I come to the first, tentative, dark splash on the earth.
And I set out running, following the splashes of blood wandering over the world.
At the cut, gashed resting places I stop and rest, at the crawl-marks where he lay out on his belly to overpass some stretch of bauchy ice I lie out dragging myself forward with bear-knives in my fists.
3 On the third day I begin to starve, at nightfall I bend down as I knew I would at a turd sopped in blood, and hesitate, and pick it up, and thrust it in my mouth, and gnash it down, and rise and go on running.
4 On the seventh day, living by now on bear blood alone, I can see his upturned carcass far out ahead, a scraggled, steamy hulk, the heavy fur riffling in the wind.
I come up to him and stare at the narrow-spaced, petty eyes, the dismayed face laid back on the shoulder, the nostrils flared, catching perhaps the first taint of me as he died.
I hack a ravine in his thigh, and eat and drink, and tear him down his whole length and open him and climb in and close him up after me, against the wind, and sleep.
5 And dream of lumbering flatfooted over the tundra, stabbed twice from within, splattering a trail behind me, splattering it out no matter which way I lurch, no matter which parabola of bear-transcendence, which dance of solitude I attempt, which gravity-clutched leap, which trudge, which groan.
6 Until one day I totter and fall -- fall on this stomach that has tried so hard to keep up, to digest the blood as it leaked in, to break up and digest the bone itself: and now the breeze blows over me, blows off the hideous belches of ill-digested bear blood and rotted stomach and the ordinary, wretched odor of bear, blows across my sore, lolled tongue a song or screech, until I think I must rise up and dance.
And I lie still.
7 I awaken I think.
Marshlights reappear, geese come trailing again up the flyway.
In her ravine under old snow the dam-bear lies, licking lumps of smeared fur and drizzly eyes into shapes with her tongue.
And one hairy-soled trudge stuck out before me, the next groaned out, the next, the next, the rest of my days I spend wandering: wondering what, anyway, was that sticky infusion, that rank flavor of blood, that poetry, by which I lived? from Body Rags, Galway Kinnell (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967).


Written by William Cullen Bryant | |

The Crowded Street

LET me move slowly through the street  
Filled with an ever-shifting train  
Amid the sound of steps that beat 
The murmuring walks like autumn rain.
How fast the flitting figures come! 5 The mild the fierce the stony face; Some bright with thoughtless smiles and some Where secret tears have left their trace.
They pass¡ªto toil to strife to rest; To halls in which the feast is spread; 10 To chambers where the funeral guest In silence sits beside the dead.
And some to happy homes repair Where children pressing cheek to cheek With mute caresses shall declare 15 The tenderness they cannot speak.
And some who walk in calmness here Shall shudder as they reach the door Where one who made their dwelling dear Its flower its light is seen no more.
20 Youth with pale cheek and slender frame And dreams of greatness in thine eye! Go'st thou to build an early name Or early in the task to die? Keen son of trade with eager brow! 25 Who is now fluttering in thy snare? Thy golden fortunes tower they now Or melt the glittering spires in air? Who of this crowd to-night shall tread The dance till daylight gleam again? 30 Who sorrow o'er the untimely dead? Who writhe in throes of mortal pain? Some famine-struck shall think how long The cold dark hours how slow the light; And some who flaunt amid the throng 35 Shall hide in dens of shame to-night.
Each where his tasks or pleasures call They pass and heed each other not.
There is who heeds who holds them all In His large love and boundless thought.
40 These struggling tides of life that seem In wayward aimless course to tend Are eddies of the mighty stream That rolls to its appointed end.


Written by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

From Snow-Bound 11:1-40 116-154

 The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky Its mute and ominous prophecy, A portent seeming less than threat, It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout, Of homespun stuff could quite shut out, A hard, dull bitterness of cold, That checked, mid-vein, the circling race Of life-blood in the sharpened face, The coming of the snow-storm told.
The wind blew east: we heard the roar Of Ocean on his wintry shore, And felt the strong pulse throbbing there Beat with low rhythm our inland air.
Meanwhile we did your nightly chores,-- Brought in the wood from out of doors, Littered the stalls, and from the mows Raked down the herd's-grass for the cows; Heard the horse whinnying for his corn; And, sharply clashing horn on horn, Impatient down the stanchion rows The cattle shake their walnut bows; While, peering from his early perch Upon the scaffold's pole of birch, The cock his crested helmet bent And down his querulous challenge sent.
Unwarmed by any sunset light The gray day darkened into night, A night made hoary with the swarm And whirl-dance of the blinding storm, As zigzag, wavering to and fro Crossed and recrossed the wingèd snow: And ere the early bed-time came The white drift piled the window-frame, And through the glass the clothes-line posts Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.
* As night drew on, and, from the crest Of wooded knolls that ridged the west, The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank From sight beneath the smothering bank, We piled, with care, our nightly stack Of wood against the chimney-back,-- The oaken log, green, huge, and thick, And on its top the stout back-stick; The knotty forestick laid apart, And filled between with curious art The ragged brush; then, hovering near, We watched the first red blaze appear, Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam On whitewashed wall and sagging beam, Until the old, rude-furnished room Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom; While radiant with a mimic flame Outside the sparkling drift became, And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
The crane and pendent trammels showed, The Turks' heads on the andirons glowed; While childish fancy, prompt to tell The meaning of the miracle, Whispered the old rhyme: "Under the tree, When fire outdoors burns merrily, There the witches are making tea.
" The moon above the eastern wood Shone at its full; the hill-range stood Transfigured in the silver flood, Its blown snows flashing cold and keen, Dead white, save where some sharp ravine Took shadow, or the somber green Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black Against the whiteness at their back.
For such a world and such a night Most fitting that unwarming light, Which only seemed where'er it fell To make the coldness visible.


Written by Stephen Vincent Benet | |

Road and Hills

 I shall go away 
To the brown hills, the quiet ones, 
The vast, the mountainous, the rolling, 
Sun-fired and drowsy! 

My horse snuffs delicately 
At the strange wind; 
He settles to a swinging trot; his hoofs tramp the dust.
The road winds, straightens, Slashes a marsh, Shoulders out a bridge, Then -- Again the hills.
Unchanged, innumerable, Bowing huge, round backs; Holding secret, immense converse: In gusty voices, Fruitful, fecund, toiling Like yoked black oxen.
The clouds pass like great, slow thoughts And vanish In the intense blue.
My horse lopes; the saddle creaks and sways.
A thousand glittering spears of sun slant from on high.
The immensity, the spaces, Are like the spaces Between star and star.
The hills sleep.
If I put my hand on one, I would feel the vast heave of its breath.
I would start away before it awakened And shook the world from its shoulders.
A cicada's cry deepens the hot silence.
The hills open To show a slope of poppies, Ardent, noble, heroic, A flare, a great flame of orange; Giving sleepy, brittle scent That stings the lungs.
A creeping wind slips through them like a ferret; they bow and dance, answering Beauty's voice .
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The horse whinnies.
I dismount And tie him to the grey worn fence.
I set myself against the javelins of grass and sun; And climb the rounded breast, That flows like a sea-wave.
The summit crackles with heat, there is no shelter, no hollow from the flagellating glare.
I lie down and look at the sky, shading my eyes.
My body becomes strange, the sun takes it and changes it, it does not feel, it is like the body of another.
The air blazes.
The air is diamond.
Small noises move among the grass .
.
.
Blackly, A hawk mounts, mounts in the inane Seeking the star-road, Seeking the end .
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But there is no end.
Here, in this light, there is no end.
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