Thursday, May 26, 2011

Belly Dancer.

Belly Dancer

Can these movements which move themselves
be the substance of my attraction?
Where does this thin green silk come from that covers my body?   
Surely any woman wearing such fabrics
would move her body just to feel them touching every part of her.

Yet most of the women frown, or look away, or laugh stiffly.   
They are afraid of these materials and these movements   
in some way.
The psychologists would say they are afraid of themselves, somehow.
Perhaps awakening too much desire—
that their men could never satisfy?
So they keep themselves laced and buttoned and made up
in hopes that the framework will keep them stiff enough not to feel
the whole register.
In hopes that they will not have to experience that unquenchable   
desire for rhythm and contact.

If a snake glided across this floor
most of them would faint or shrink away.
Yet that movement could be their own.
That smooth movement frightens them—
awakening ancestors and relatives to the tips of the arms and toes.

So my bare feet
and my thin green silks
my bells and finger cymbals
offend them—frighten their old-young bodies.   
While the men simper and leer—
glad for the vicarious experience and exercise.
They do not realize how I scorn them;   
or how I dance for their frightened,   
unawakened, sweet

    The belly dancer in her poem is a member of the movement and seeks the awakening of the restrained women who have been raised as proper women. Wakoski satirizes the women who do not support the movement by portraying them as uptight and ignorant people. 


Jackson Chen said...

I agree with what you said about Wakoski satire. She really made it seem like the women who don't get into belly dancing were boring and uptight.

tl said...

what movement?
This is a start--look into this a bit more; if you examine this as a journal, pay close attention to the image patterns--the movements--the connection among dancer/movement--nature/the animal (an a primitive animal)-ancestors, etc. The sens of all that moves in us below the surface, all that we are afraid of... a rich interior that also connects us with what lies beyond us... and of course the speaker does not in any despise these women, but feels a deep connection and bond to them (consider esp the last few lines, which of course we can see as influenced by 1970s feminism...)

tl said...

see also my comments on blogs from previous classes.

tl said...

also see Derrick's blog in current blogs....

Ms. Robles said...

I also agree with alot of the points you made on this poem. I feel this poem is about women's liberation and their being able to express their wants and desires more openly. I feel like this poem gives a message to stop being so restrained by what society tell you to act like or look like or how to behave " lady like," and to just be who you are truely even if you are just very sensual and you're upfront about the things you want and the things you need. I enjoyed this poem and everyone's insights on it as well.