The speaker of "The Dance" definitely doesn't spend a lot of time talking about himself. He's way too obsessed with this painting by Brueghel to bother telling us who he is, or what he's doing staring at this sixteenth-century Flemish masterpiece. Of course, the fact that he's so obsessed with this picture does tell us a lot about the guy. For one, he's got to be pretty into art—Brueghel in particular—-to bother talking about a painting in the first place. After all, he kicks the poem off by saying, "In Brueghel's great picture, The Kermess" (1). Right from the top, you can tell this guy is enthusiastic about this painting, and he's not afraid to tell us about it.

We also get the sense that the speaker is a dude who's into the common man. Sure, he might be hanging out at an art museum, but the picture that catches his eye is one of a bunch of peasants having a raucous party. This isn't some elegant portrait of some noble pageant, y'all; it's of some work-a-day folks throwin' down. Throughout the poem, the speaker uses language to capture the idea that event is rough around the edges. We hear about "the squeal and the blare" of the music, and how the dancers are "swinging their butts" and "tipping their [round] bellies" all over the place (3-9). It seems like with this poem, the speaker is celebrating the rough and tumble world of the peasant festival just as much as he's celebrating the refined piece of art that he so admires.

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