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Marilyn Matis Belmont / United States, Female, 68
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11/1/2009 1:57:00 AM

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    • POEM: I Cannot Dance Upon My Toes by Emily Dickinson (11/1/2009 1:51:00 AM)

      This is the first Emily Dickinson poem I fell in love with. Instead of the 'recluse poet' image we are all taught about, this is Dickinson as diva!

      She uses a simple literary device to create irony: 'I can't dance, but if I could...'
      So if she could she would be hopping around on the stage like a delicate bird. She would be SO GOOD that other ballerinas-in fact, prima ballerinas-would be envious of her abilities.

      With a wink, Dickinson tells us that not only would she be a spectacular dancer if someone only taught her, she says that no one knows that she DOES have the ability. Even though there are no signs to advertise it, she can dance very, very well.

      The joke here is Dickinson did not retreat totally from the world. She used to send her poems out for publication. But they were so unusual that all the editors and other poets said 'you're getting there, but you don't have it yet.' The ultimate irony is that no one reads those poets or editors anymore, but many read Dickinson over 100 years after her death.

      It could 'Lay a Prima-Mad' no?