Friday, April 25, 2014

Poetry Friday - Lines Written for Gene Kelly to Dance To

Today I'm sharing an excerpt of the first stanzas from Lines Written for Gene Kelly to Dance To. You can find the entire poem in The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg (pp. 704-705).

Lines Written for Gene Kelly to Dance To
by Carl Sandburg

Spring is when the grass turns green and glad
Spring is when the new grass comes up and says hey, hey, hey, hey.
Be dizzy now and turn your head upside down and see how the world looks upside down
Be dizzy now and turn a cartwheel and see the good earth through a cartwheel.

Tell your feet the alphabet
Tell your feet the multiplication table
Tell your feet where to go, and watch ‘em go and come back

Can you dance a question mark?
Can you dance an exclamation mark?
Can you dance a couple of commas?
And bring it to a finish with a period?

Can you dance like the wind is pushing you?
Can you dance like you are pushing the wind?
Can you dance like slow wooden heels?
And then change to bright and singing silver heels.
Such nice feet, such good feet.

And since you've all probably seen Gene dancing in Singin' In The Rain, here's a video of him tap dancing on roller skates. It's one of my favorites, and yes, you can dance an exclamation mark!

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference . Happy poetry Friday friends.


  1. ::sigh::
    That was lovely. Words tumbling and dancing, followed by a body.
    Thought #1: Gene Kelly reminds me of Stephen Colbert (in body type). He, too, can dance, and tap dance. And probably skate.
    Thought #2, MAN, I wish I could tap dance. And skate.
    Thought #3, Remember those steel-wheeled skates from childhood? These must have been specially made; how could he lift them so many times? That looked exhausting. And yet, awesome.
    Thought #4, Carl Sandburg rocks. Gene Kelly rocks. You rock.

  2. Why don't I read Carl Sandburg more?? I am always happy when I do! Also, :-) Gene Kelly :-)

  3. I want to see the good earth through a cart wheel. Thank you!

  4. Thank you, Tricia. This poem and video made me smile from ear to ear.

  5. Holy cow! A poem that dances and then Gene (AMAZING) Kelly on ROLLER SKATES!!!

    As much as I loved his dance (and the song), I couldn't help but imagine the chroeography/er and the practice sessions.


    Thank you for a fun, fun, fun post!

  6. That poem makes me believe I can dance, too, Tricia - although seeing Gene Kelly dance is rather intimidating. Such grace and power in his movements!