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About this Poem 

“The Whistler painting Sea and Rain is in the University of Michigan’s art museum. There is a small unfinished person in the left foreground who gives the scene context. Otherwise it is a color abstraction. I have seen a dancer on the shores of Lake Michigan who also could focus attention.”

—Keith Taylor

Sea and Rain: Lake Michigan

Keith Taylor

after James McNeill Whistler, 1865

There is a dance at water’s edge,
a movement between the lake, its sand
and the horizon where lake becomes cloud.

Between those lines our world’s
a thin wash of muted tones, beige
and gray with a hint of white,

almost abstract, until the dancer
steps out into the pool.
She makes the whole thing real.

Copyright @ 2014 by Keith Taylor. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on May 19, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Keith Taylor. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on May 19, 2014.

Keith Taylor