Posted by: Robin Hawkins | August 3, 2010

diwali of your dance

diwali of your dance

you should be scribed on finest paper

dressed silk, rice or web-thin onionskin

with smooth cut peacock feather quill in

panther ink so textured black

every thought, word, song of you should melt

in golden sunrise onto veined membrane perfect

sensuous to touch and fluid as quick mercury

evasive to caged images of craft


you should be danced in crystal chandeliers

in earthen lamps of sunflower and over

eggshell floors to every rhythm of my being

pictured beyond mere seeing


  1. Wikipedia tells us the following about Diwali

    Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (divas) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. During Diwali celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with others. Some Indian business communities begin the financial year on the first day of Diwali wishing for good luck the following year.


    The Narrator in the poem addresses somebody, or something. It could be a beautiful, beloved woman, but the last stanza points in a different direction. “You should be danced to every rhythm of my being” and “a picture way beyond mere seeing”.

    This creates the impression that what is described here, is something other than a woman, something like an idealised concept of beauty. It could be an “ode to creativity” or to the “art of poetry.

    The poem’s flowing lyricism is very charming. The images are very apt and impactful, and at the same time retains a beautiful fragility.

    “you should be scribed on finest paper
    dressed silk, rice or web-thin onionskin”

    Really delectable images that give the reader great pleasure.


    The lines are well-crafted, lush, without being overly sentimental or striving too hard for effect. But the last line ” a picture way beyond” bothers a bit.

    The Americanism “way beyond” seems out of line with the tone of the rest of the poem. It’s like an American tourist in a loud, tasteless shirt cavorting around at a formal cocktail party where everybody else is dressed in exquisite taste.

    I hope the poet can find a better way to express the ineffability of the concept he is describing in the poem.

    • Thanks for adding this exquisite photo. It fits perfectly! As mentioned, I have a sort of love-affair going with this verse, and though I agree with your remarks re the last line, I am reluctant to karring. On the other hand, now that you mentioned this very obvious flaw, of course, it is nagging away at my psyche so I will probably have to do something about it. This may take time, as a preconception can be very hard to shake.


    please vote for your favorite poets if possible,
    u win one vote for yourself if you vote for others.
    and u r nominated,
    many thanks…
    Happy Monday!

    De Waal

    • I would like to nominate De Waal. Without any doubt.

      • Thank you, Robin. Very generous of you 🙂

      • GENEROUS??? Not at all. You have a million times my skill and wisdom.

  3. what lovely image your words paint.
    cute poem!


  4. WHy thank you.

  5. such beautiful diction, vivid imageries, i love this 🙂

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