DANCE OF EROS -- DANCE OF THANATOS

By William Markiewicz

Dance of the Free Spirits
(Dance of the Free Spirits-- by Blair Drawson)

In my archives, I happened to fall upon a postcard reproduction of Blair Drawson’s, “Dance of the Free Spirits.” To this artwork which I enjoyed, I added my translation of the last lines of “The Dancing Socrates” by the Polish poet, Julian Tuvim:

“Let them know that the madman in trance
The clown with the ugly snout of a dog
Learn the truth, learn the dance
Hopsa, hopsa, hop, hop, hop”

Now the reverse of Eros, the dance of Thanatos:

A couple of Holocaust survivors talked to me. The husband and wife were sent on separate transports and met again after the war. The wife had a little baby in her arms and while the train was moving slowly, she threw the baby out the window as many did in that situation. Her only hope was that a peasant would find the baby before the wolves or dogs did. After the war they searched intensively but found nothing. The wife said that while in the camp she had had a vision that her child was alive. The father, in another camp, said he had seen children taken from their parents to their death. Moments later, he saw a little Jewish man whose child had been taken, walking slowly. Suddenly, the man raised his hands and started to dance. It was a pathetic ridiculous dance of supreme despair. His face twisted, his hands jerked like a marionette’s and his feet stamped up and down, all in absolute silence.

The idea came to me to write about those two dances even if I am unable to reproduce the second one visually.

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