The Empty Dance Shoes: Cornelius Eady
The poem, “The Empty Dance Shoes”, by Cornelius Eady uses similes and allusions to show that nothing will happen in life unless you take action. Eady suggests that life is comparable to an empty pair of dance shoes, and further compares it with other inanimate objects such as a wart, a leaf, a rock, and a clown lying on its back. The fact that the poem features dancing shoes rather than ordinary shoes is significant because of the author’s musical background and love of blues music. Music is a central theme in many of his other works, along with the struggle African Americans face, and family.
Two of the most common literary devices used in this poem are similes and allusions. Both are used to point out similarities between the shoes, which represent life, and unmoving objects. Eady states that the shoes are like a clown who has been hit by a sandbag, a leaf in a book, and a rock at the bottom of a lake. This makes an indirect allusion that the forces acting on those objects (the sandbag, and the weight of the book and the water) are like the obstacles in life that must be overcome in order for those things to move again. In another section of the poem, he says that the shoes won’t move even if they are in the middle of a very lively place because the shoes “run on their own sense of the world”. This hints that even if your life has many busy things going on around it, or even if you have many lively friends accomplishing things, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your life is the same way.
Another literary element used in the poem is the motif. Two recurring motifs are inertia and the empty dance shoes. Inertia is the tendency to do nothing, and in this poem, it represents laziness or obstacles in life. In this poem, the obstacles are the inertia, the sandbag, the book, the water, and a bully. The empty dance shoes represent a life void of fun and happiness, and it is the main subject of the poem. At the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document