Saturday, April 06, 2013

Poetry Month-Poet at the Dance

Today is the reception for Susan Spellman's exhibit, Dancers, at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, MA. Since I have spent time with the images over the last few weeks (Judith Jamison is above) as I hand-lettered quotes about dance for the exhibit, dance is the theme for today's Poetry Month post. has published a wonderful exploration of poetry and dance called Poet at the Dance: Rita Dove in Conversation. Here's a brief excerpt:

Robert McDowell: Can you talk a little about the movement of dance, and the movement (as in line to line, image to image, idea or thing to idea or thing) of poetry?

Rita Dove: Poetry is a kind of dance already. Technically, there's the play of contemporary speech against the bass-line of the iambic, but there's also the expression of desire that is continually restrained by the limits of the page, the breath, the very architecture of the language--just as dance is limited by the capabilities of our physical bodies as well as by gravity. A dancer toils in order to skim the surface of the floor, she develops muscles most of us don't even know we have; but the goal is to appear weightless. A poet struggles to render into words that which is unsayable--the ineffable, that which is deeper than language--in the hopes that whatever words make the final cut will, in turn, strike the reader speechless.

Read the complete interview at

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