Sheer joy—how often do you get to read a poem about that? (Okay, we're not counting something written in a greeting card.) "The Dance" is one of those rare pieces that celebrates the reality of human happiness without being sappy or cliché. Sometimes, it's great to be alive, and it's super-extra-great when a master poet captures those moments with such skill.

Questions About Happiness

  1. What exactly is making these peasants so happy? How do you know? 
  2. What specific parts of the poem highlight the happiness of the dancers?
  3. In what ways might the joy of the peasants in this poem represent the possibility of happiness for all humanity?

Chew on This

"The Dance" is a refreshingly un-cynical celebration of the real possibility of human happiness. Woo-hoo!

By not including any references to darker emotions, "The Dance" presents a one dimensional view of life. Ho-hum.

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