la danse des noces

We spent a few hours at the Musee des Beaux Arts here in Bordeaux, looking at a lot of swooning maidens, dying lions, a bad Mary Cassatt (and I love her work), a muddy Bonnard  (ditto), a beautiful Riopelle (his snowy owl), and an unexpected delight: Brueghel’s La Danse des Noces. It reminded me of William Carlos Williams’ late poem ‘The Dance’, in which he captures the colour and movement of a Brueghel painting.

“In Brueghel’s great picture, The Kermess,

the dancers go round, they go round and

around, the squeal and the blare and the

tweedle of bagpipes, a bugle and fiddles

tipping their bellies (round as the thick-

sided glasses whose wash they impound)…”


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