I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

4 May 2016

The Skipping Quadrille

(Skip to my Lou, my darling)

This poem 
is a skipping quadrille.
Slow and stately couples
in mellow light
dance with downcast eyes.
But in the hearts of those women
little girls live, who skip
with fancy footwork,
their dancing feet remembering
fast hops and jumps ...
though the men forget.

The first Quadrille at Almack's
Image in the public domain. 

'The Quadrille is a dance that was fashionable in late 18th- and 19th-century Europe and its colonies' – Wikipedia. Some versions were apparently quite lively, but it was also described as 'stately'. Recently the term 'quadrille' is also used for a 44-word poem. For Quadrille–8 at dVerse this week we are asked to include the word 'skip'. The phrase 'Skip to my Lou' (from a children's dance) is mentioned. So that got me thinking about these two different dance movements. This is also a late response to the first quadrille prompt, which asked us to use the word 'dance'.

In composing the poem, I used Elizabeth Crawford's instructions in her chat with Sherry at Poets United this week: Step by Step: How to W rite a Poem When You're Blocked. Not that I was blocked, but I thought it would be a good method anyway, and it was.


  1. Rosemary, I love it! Love the little girls inside the women's hearts. Reminds me of my Grandma, once, in her 90's, doing a sweet sashay across the floor in the nursing home. I saw, in her face, the young girl she had once been who loved to dance.

  2. I saw that same little girl in my mother's face a few times. And have been adamant about keeping her alive within my own person. So glad to see you used the process. It really brings up some gems, doesn't it?


  3. I'm so sad that there is no bounce in the men... (I think that there is a bounce or a skip, but men are afraid to show it)... I love to dance actually.

    1. I meant they have forgotten the childish skipping, or are suppressing it. The ones in the picture look as if they have a bit of bounce, but more self-conscious and dignified than the women, whose toes look more relaxed. :-)

  4. Love this, Rosemary! I can remember junior high dances, all of us girls on the floor together, rockin' out...and the boys lined up along the wall, looking bored. ;)

  5. My friend.. iN thE eYes
    oF naTure and
    trUe maGic
    thaT iS iN tHe
    SpRinG oF stePs
    iN hUman bEinG..
    thOse wHo continUe
    A reAl dAnce oF liFe
    diE onCe
    aNd liVe
    alWays noW..
    neVer trUly dYinG
    aT aLL aLiVe NoW..
    To stoP danCinG
    trUly iS tO giVe uP
    heArt anD i fOr oNe..
    WiLL aRt leAst DancE
    eYes To 101
    And moRe
    mY FriEnd..:)

  6. Makes the little girl in me want to dance, want to skip. Delightful.

  7. Nothing wilder or happier than the girl-child who dances within. Yum!

  8. fast hops and jumps ...
    though the men forget

    Leave it to the young girls! They'll make good use of it to great effect. As usual the boys have something else on their minds!