I'm reading a book called Apollo's Angels. It's a beautifully-written history of ballet. Apollo apparently represents the 'body ideal' and of course angels go to the author's assertion that dancers desire to ascend (and as she points out, much of ballet indeed includes sprites, sylphs and other winged things).

The other day, while reading this book, and after having chosen to dance that morning with surrender in mind, I was struck by this quote...

"If anything, ballet is purifying, every movement physically honed and essential, with no superfluity or excess: it is a kind of grace."

I'm not sure that grace is always without superfluity or excess, but this is perhaps the particular grace of ballet.

Thinking on all this, I ended up writing a poem (you are not surprised, yes? :)


Apollo's angels
will come at different hours
lifting high their delicate hands

praising the wind
that wraps itself
around the feet of God

Apollo's angels
will leap in mirrored halls
finding the heart that beats in time

with satined feet;
they will come
waving chiffon on currents of

perfumed air, there will be
no memory of their movements
beyond these bodies

that knew this prayer.

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Blogger Melissa Campbell said...

Ethereal, beautiful words that connect the earth to heaven. I loved these especially:

praising the wind
that wraps itself
around the feet of God


Blogger Maureen said...

The choice of title for the book is wonderful, because of its multiple meanings.

Your lovely poem captures some of those meanings.

I, too, especially like the second stanza and the last three lines.

For those who might be interested to read an excerpt, see the New Republic's post of 10/13.


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