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The Dancers: (During A Great Battle, 1916)

Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell 1887 (Scarborough) – 1964 (Weedon Lois)



The floors are slippery with blood:
The world gyrates too. God is good
That while His wind blows out the light
For those who hourly die for is –
We still can dance each night.

The music has grown numb with death
But we will suck their dying breath,
The whispered name they breathed to chance,
To swell our music, make it loud
That we may dance, - may dance.

We are the dull blind carrion-fly
That dance and batten. Though God die
Mad from the horror of the light
The light is mad, too, flecked with blood, -
We dance, we dance, each night.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell

Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell was a British poet and critic and the eldest of the three literary Sitwells. She reacted badly to her eccentric, unloving parents and lived much of her life with her governess. She never married but became passionately attached to Russian painter Pavel Tchelitchew, and her home was always open to London's poetic circle, to whom she was generous and helpful. Sitwell published poetry continuously from 1913, some of it abstract and set to music. With her dramatic style and exotic costumes, she was sometimes labelled a poseur, but her work was praised for its solid technique and painstaking craftsmanship. She was a recipient of the Benson Medal. more…

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