Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Poem for Brigid: Contradance by Judith Laura

(video of Contradancing follows poem)
Contradance

Not squares,
they stand in long lines waiting
for the call.
Women and men
at times outrageously proper but
more often sedately
improper,
greeting neighbors,
trail buddies and
even lost cousins
on the way to the top
or bottom
where improper roles reverse.

Swingers all,
they swirl and spin, balanced
for an instant.
Afloat a fiddle tune
hand grasps hand,
clutches waist
quicker than a breath
as faces blur and thought
departs leaving
dancers riding
the cresting wave
of the unchained flow
and laughing.
Copyright 1996 by Judith Laura. First published in Pudding Magazine #30 (June 1996)


Contradancing in the U.S. has "calls" and style similar to those used in New England style square dancing. But the dance is done in long partnered lines. In a "proper" formation, the men are in one line facing the women in the other line. In an "improper" line, the the lines alternate woman, man, woman, man. Here is a recent video from Glen Echo, Maryland, near the Potomac River and the DC line. An earlier contradance there inspired this poem.

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3 Comments:

At Wednesday, February 01, 2012 7:10:00 PM, Anonymous hecatedemeter said...

Love it!

 
At Thursday, February 02, 2012 10:47:00 AM, Blogger sta┼Ťa said...

Hi, Judith!

From one contra dancer to another -- love it!!

Blessed be,
Stasa

 
At Friday, February 03, 2012 1:11:00 AM, Blogger Matt D said...

The poem really catches an image.

 

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