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I cannot dance opon my toes

Act, play, and dance your interpretation of Dickinson’s ballet-themed poem, with actor Cynthia Nixon, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, dancer Jill Johnson, and poet Marie Howe.

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Read the Poem

I cannot dance opon my toes

by Emily Dickinson

I cannot dance opon my Toes –
No Man instructed me –
But oftentimes, among my mind
A Glee possesseth me
That had I Ballet – knowledge –
Would put itself abroad
In Pirouette to blanch a Troupe –
Or lay a Prima – mad –

And though I had no Gown of Gauze –
No Ringlet, to my Hair –
Nor hopped to Audiences – like Birds –
One Claw opon the Air –
Nor tossed my shape in Eider Balls –
Nor rolled on Wheels of Snow
Till I was out of sight in sound –
The House encore me so –

Nor any know I know the Art
I mention easy – Here –
Nor any Placard boast me
It’s full as Opera –

 

Text from Franklin 381A

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I cannot dance opon my Toes –
No Man instructed me –
But oftentimes, among my mind
A Glee possesseth me
That had I Ballet – knowledge –
Would put itself abroad
In Pirouette to blanch a Troupe –
Or lay a Prima – mad –

And though I had no Gown of Gauze –
No Ringlet, to my Hair –
Nor hopped to Audiences – like Birds –
One Claw opon the Air –
Nor tossed my shape in Eider Balls –
Nor rolled on Wheels of Snow
Till I was out of sight in sound –
The House encore me so –

Nor any know I know the Art
I mention easy – Here –
Nor any Placard boast me
It’s full as Opera –

 

Text from Franklin 381A

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