Poetic Asides prompt for today is to write a snapshot poem, think of a photograph or painting still life bring this particular moment to life. I tried to think of a photograph or a painting, waiting to come to life. Then I thought of Waiting, one of the ballerina paintings by Edgar Degas. It is not exactly a still life, but it definitely wants to come to life.

by Mike Patrick

Waiting by Edgar Degas

So many hours on my toes,
for the time that’s almost here.
My debut awaits the stage,
as my stomach cramps with fear.

Twenty hours of standing tall
gets a tiny movement right.
How that time flew by so fast
compared to this long tonight.

A hundred hours of awful work
through blisters, aches and pain,
is boiled down to this night
just to start it all again.

As the music starts to rise,
and my soul becomes sublime,
eagerly I take the stage
for my share of heaven’s time.

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11 Responses to WAITING

  1. vivinfrance says:

    I love the way you have got inside the dancer’s head. And Degas is one of my favourite artists – ballet, horses, all of them.

  2. Pingback: WAITING | The Poet's Quill « Oil Painting Boutique Blog

  3. Gloria says:

    You have surely brought this painting to life so that the reader feels the dancer’s joy in returning to the dance. Wonderful piece.

  4. Mr. Walker says:

    Mike, that last stanza really makes it magical, that feeling of success of a debut, which is that much more powerful knowing the work and sacrifice that has come before. An excellent painting to explore; and I like the restraint you showed in focusing on just the dancer.

  5. pmwanken says:

    Nice one, Mike! You definitely brought life to what looks like a very tired ballerina!

    I read the prompt slightly differently…I read it as creating a picture with my words as if creating a snapshot. Not sure I did that very well, either. It was a busy day and my mind did not have a lot of focused attention on poetry today.

  6. Not only do you get inside the head of a dancer, it’s a universal feeling for all who take the stage. Blood, sweat, emotion, devotion, anticipation… I’m so glad you not only used a Degas, but posted it as well. I have some ballerinas in my living room, but this picture really speaks to the artist as well as the art. Lovely, lovely! Amy

  7. earlybird says:

    I really like this. Particularly the last stanza.

    I always think this painting has so much to tell. (Inevitably, now, the film ‘Black Swan’ comes to mind)

  8. Very well done. I’m sure you captured a dancer’s feelings and thoughts.

  9. trisha says:

    i dont think i will ever be able to speak a single line on stage 🙂

  10. grandawn says:

    Mike, This is a beautiful tribute to the anticipation before taking the stage. Such a creative way to bring the painting to life. Dawn

  11. honeyhaiku says:

    I love this. My daughter is a ballet dancer and the emotive quality of this, is akin to what I feel emanating from her at times as in the Degas painting.

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