Love, perspective, and the deepest emotions have been gifted to me so many times through poetry. Poems are endlessly teaching me about other people, about myself and the world. I write poetry to gain an understanding of the facets of humanity and to immerse myself in the magic of language.  I read it for the same reason.

When I was in my early 20’s, my Dad gave me a copy of this poem by William Carlos Williams.  It was a copy he printed from the internet, and I still have that copy, tacked up on my writing board above my desk.  I don’t think it was an accident that my Dad gave me this poem.  I think he was trying to tell me something about himself and about his life at the time.  As I got older and got to know myself and my Dad better, the meaning of this poem became clearer.
For me, this poem is about a moment of quiet but powerful triumph, immersed in a profound loneliness, a loneliness that has been accepted, even embraced.  It is a picture of who this man allows himself to be when no one is watching, who he believes himself to be.  It is vulnerability in the light of the sun.

 Danse Russe
 

If when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,-
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
“I am lonely, lonely,
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!”
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,-

Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

~William Carlos Williams