.This is the second poem I’ve written about the danse macabre or the dance of death – the first being Le Danse Macabre []. I suppose that the theme is a mix of my own macabre tendency and my love for a piece of music that shares the same name (Danse Macabre Op. 40 by Camille Saint-Saëns []). This is probably much closer to the lyrics the instrumental was once based on (see the info section on the link).


Zig, Zig, Zig

The bow glides

Zig, Zig, Zag

The violin sings

Zig, Zag, Zag

As bony fingers

Zig, Zag, Zig

Saw the strings

Zag, Zag, Zig

Now Death grins

Zag, Zig, Zig

At his melody

Zag, Zig, Zag

Skeletons dance

Zag, Zag, Zag

The Totentanz


Hope you enjoy, please feel free to comment.

The Lonely Recluse.

~ by The Lonely Recluse on July 6, 2011.

31 Responses to “Totentanz”

  1. I was not familiar with this composition … I enjoyed listening to it … your words fit it nicely … I like the form you used …

    Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. Blessings ~~ becca

    • The composition is also used in “Fossils” from the “Carnival of The Animals” (also by Saint Saens), a more well known piece. My words only fit it so due to their similarity to the original words for the piece, especially the violin zigs and zags. Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the poem.
      The Lonely Recluse.

  2. I like the allusion to Atropos’ string here. I like the eerie sound of your poem!

    • Such allusions, though now noticed are there, were not intended. The whole poem was originally meant as Death (Thanatos if you want) playing a violin, in my mind it would be in a minor chord, hence the eerieness, probably a waltzing tune as well. Such a joy of poetry is the art of interpritation. Glad you enjoyed it, and bought a new aspect to my eyes. Thank you for your kind words.
      The Lonely Recluse.

  3. 🙂 what a beauty,… its not easy but once you feel that rythm you understand…..

  4. Very cool form. I can hear the Reaper coming.

    • Glad you enjoyed the form, it’s a variation on the form of the original words to go with Danse Macabre by Saint Saens, Thanks for your kind words.
      The Lonely Recluse.

  5. what fun word play, love it,

    Happy Rally.

  6. Yes, eerie is a perfect word, and haunting. The idea of death playing a violin tickles me. Well done.

    • Death is oft pictured with a fiddle in paintings, or at least a revenant is, and seeing as the Grim Reaper is in the form of a revenant, its close enough for me. Glad you enjoyed it.
      The Lonely Recluse.

  7. I can hear the music and see the dancers. Nicely done!

    • T’is the only dance that is shared by us all, and the onl tune that unites all nations, regardless of class, race, age or gender, for we all must dance to death’s tune at some point. Glad you enjoyed it.
      The Lonely Recluse.

  8. Oh wow I love this, dark, intense, eerie

  9. It made me think of night creatures in the middle of hunting their prey! 😦

    • I only deal with the transition, the becoming of the person’s Death is in the reader’s (your) interpritation. Glad I got such an interesting one off you.
      The Lonely Recluse.

  10. Darkly delicious. 🙂

    Hope you will read one of mine:

  11. oh how lovely! nicely done. i love the delivery of the thoughts and all! happy rally

  12. Haunting, yet beautiful.

  13. Like this poem (and the music as well, very dark and somber, yet beautiful)

  14. “One two, he is coming for you
    Three, Four, better lock your door
    Five, Six, Bring a crucifix
    seven, eight, going to stay up late
    Nine, Ten, never sleep again.”

    For some weird reason your poem brought my mind back to Nightmare on Elm street. I love the simplicity of this piece. Yet the haunting image it leaves behind. Also reminds me of the robot devil from Futurama. O.o sorry no memorable comment today :P.

    • I’ve never actually watched Nightmare on Elmstreet, so reading that is a first. Why does it remind you of th robot devil? Glad you enjoyed the simplicity, though the pattern was not found in simple thoughts.
      The Lonely Recluse.

  15. love it, way to go.

    tic toc toe,
    smile and say, cheese, oh!

  16. […] in some of my old dabbling in waltzing poetry click for “The Dance Of Death”, “Totentanz”, and “Shall We Dance”. While you’re clicking links, go check out the other […]

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