“Honeyed by Oblivion”

The quotation heading this post is from George Eliot’s The Spanish Gypsy and refers to kisses, but it could perhaps equally refer to certain tango moments.

I read quite a lot of poetry and dance tango on average three or four times a week. There often seems a close link between the two. Frequently I’m reading a poem and there’s something in the words that chimes with the feelings I get when dancing, particularly those very special tango moments when the music, the partner, the movement and the mood all come together to create that feeling that most dancers seek but is so difficult to describe.

I’ve recently taken to noting those poems or lines which make that connection for me and intend to post them here occasionally. In some cases the writer is not talking about dance, so I’ve taken the liberty of ‘adapting’ their words slightly (with apologies and respect).

Please feel free to add you own.

There are as many nuances and inflections for tango as there are dancers to dance with and tandas in which to enjoy them.

[Above adapted from Tess Gallagher, Portable Kisses.]

You are always new. The last of our dances was ever the sweetest…

[Above adapted from John Keats’ letters to Fanny Brawne.]

Something made of nothing,
tasting very sweet,
A most delicious compound,
with ingredients complete;
But if as on occasion the
heart and mind are sour,
It has no great significance,
and loses half its power.

[Above from Mary E. Buell, The Kiss.]

When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are past —
For years fleet away with the wings of the dove —
The dearest remembrance will still be the last,
Our sweetest memorial the dances we love.

[Above adapted from Byron, The First Kiss of Love.]

Tango is a secret told to the heart instead of to the ear.

[Above adapted from Edmond Rostand, Cyrano De Bergerac.]

Rose danced with me today.
Will she dance with me tomorrow?
Let it be as it may,
Rose danced with me today.
But the pleasure gives way
To a savour of sorrow;
Rose danced with me today,
Will she dance with me tomorrow?

[Above adapted from Henry Austin Dobson, A Kiss.]

My love and I for dances play’d,
She would keep stake, I was content,
But when I won she would be paid;
This made me ask her what she meant.
Pray, since I see (quoth she) your wrangling vain,
Take your own tangos: give me mine again.

[Above adapted from William Strode, Sonnett.]

Never do with your arms what you could do better with your whole body.

[Above adapted from Cherry Vanilla, American singer-songwriter.]

Come back often and take hold of me,
sensation that I love come back and take hold of me —
when the body’s memory awakens
and an old longing again moves into the blood…

[Above from C.P. Cavafy, Come Back.]

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~ by magickwords on Saturday, 27 April 2013.

6 Responses to ““Honeyed by Oblivion””

  1. great put up, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists
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    I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  2. Thank you for your comment. You’ve homed in on one of the big problems of writing a tango blog… all the opposite specialists.

    But I shall indeed proceed and do my best to keep in touch with my huge readers’ base.

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