William Carlos Williams - Sound Patterns

The poem The Dance by Williams is a type of ekphrastatic poetry from Pieter Brueghel’s Kermesse. The poem is all about peasant villagers who have gathered to take part in an active dance. The poet has used various ways to bring this clearly to the reader. He uses encapsulation of simultaneous movement throughout his poem. Moreover, he uses cyclic motion to pass his message to the audience. In line two and three of the poem, the poet says that the dancers goes round, round, and round. He uses the repeated sound pattern to emphasize the motion at the scene. Also, the repeated words show the tone of the poet at the party and pass the intended message of happiness among the participants. Furthermore, the first and the last line of the poem are similar, this sound pattern emphasizes the message that the dancers are still at the same place during the end of the dance.

Additionally, the poet uses sound patterns such as rhymes to pass his message to the audience.  Rhymes are the use of two words with similar ending in poetry. For instance, the poet uses the kicking and the rolling to bring out the picture clearly to the readers about the motion at the dance hall. Moreover, the cyclic motion of the poem has been enhanced by the various verbs associated with dancing. For example, the poet says in line five that, the people at the party have their bugle and fiddles tipping their bellies. He compares the motion with round thick-sided glass whose wash they impounded. Another example has been brought out by the poet in line eight and nine where the poet says that the dancers are kicking and rolling, swinging their butts. These verbs makes the mood of the reader be in a dance even if they are not dancing in real sense.  Hence, joy is among the tones that the poet illustrates vividly. Furthermore, a part from the physical cyclic movement of the poem, there is a background music being heard. In line three and four, the poet says that the squeal and the blare and the tweedle of bagpipes, a bugle and fiddle, to show the mood of music in the dance hall. Finally, the poet has tried to make the dance in motion by use of verbs related to dancing and repeating the movements made by the dancers without using conjunctions but instead using punctuations. This makes the dancing activity in progress throughout the poem.

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