The swan's last waltz

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Lithe legs spread

Neck stretched

Feet splayed

Like a swan-song

Toes strong

Fingers pulsing

Then snap

A pirouette

A spectacular series

Of whirls on her toes 

He circles her on the ball of his foot 

Musical, muscular movements mingle and mix

A shiver of white as she jumps

A catching of the breath as she slumps

Into his arms;

A choreography of bodies

Leaking across the stage

And into my imagination.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's dream

Of Russian folk lore:

Odette, a princess,

Turned into a swan

By an evil sorcerer's curse. 

Her ending the happy tragedy

Of unity in death-rebirth;

The music and the movement

Move the audience into the lives

Of Siegfried and Odette

Movingly magical music

Leaves us wondering at the strange role fate

Takes in all of our lives.


◄ Right to remain Silent

Pseudobulbar affect. ►


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Stu Buck

Fri 18th Jan 2019 14:04

great flow here john. you clearly structured it to match the ebb and flow of the dance and it works really well. re-read it while listening to swan lake. a good experience

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Dave Caplan

Thu 17th Jan 2019 22:02

Excellent piece.
A thoroughly enjoyable read, thank you.

<Deleted User> (19708)

Thu 17th Jan 2019 20:41


Great flow in this piece. The visuals are right there!

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John Marks

Thu 17th Jan 2019 20:30

Thanks very much Lisa and Jacob. I had the usual working class straight male prejudice against ballet until somebody told me that ballet dancers were fitter and stronger than International footballers. Then I looked, and listened, again, and was mesmerized. What prompted this particular poem was the return of Alessandra Ferri (pictured), the Argentinian ballerina, at 52, to star in Wayne McGregor's new Covent Garden production based on the novels of Virginia Woolf.

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lisa donohoe

Thu 17th Jan 2019 14:29

Breathtaking poem ?
Loved it ' great job?

Big Sal

Thu 17th Jan 2019 14:13

Goddammit. I logged off the site after being on since 3 AM, and had to log back in to tell you how great this piece is.?

I'll risk the sleep deprivation if only to speak the truth one more time.

Goddamn, John, these are some breathtakingly beautiful lines.

I hope you're doing well my friend. Take care.

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