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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 4, December 2012

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Anita Virgil
Forest, Virginia, U.S.A.


Time Travel

Silence of falling snow. . .

YouTube presents Tchiakovsky’s “Swan Lake” performed by Chinese dancers. On pointe, their slender swan queen, with dazzling prowess, pirouettes atop her stoical partner’s head. When the pas de deux ends, the cygnets move across the stage this way and that, en masse with equally mechanical precision.

Decades ago, to New York’s City Center where Balanchine’s ballet corps performs “Swan Lake.” Peering down from the highest balcony I watch prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, the swan queen, regally float among her snowy gently-moving cygnets, her every gesture, swan-like, elegant. For the pas de deux, with partner Andre Eglevsky, no gymnastics. But beyond their technical perfection, a lyrical tenderness bubbles up from their very insides suffusing the performance. His lifts bring her slowly rising up, then silently touching down . . .

The lake’s surface water heavy with cold, sinks, and the warmer water at the bottom it displaces rises . . .

In the ancient and evolving art of haiku where delicate images or a gesture or a shift of focus evokes deep emotional response in the reader, periodically there arise schools of esthetics which seek to achieve poems according to mathematical formulas.

Then there are the others who set out trusting to the significance of an inchoate feeling that will somehow transform into a poem that reaches the heart. Uncertain how.

deep snow . . .
in the silence
deer tracks

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