“The Empty Dance Shoes”
By Cornelius Eady
Personal Interpretation: By Sheneika Cook
“The Empty Dance Shoes”, by Cornelius Eady uses allusions and similes to show that in life nothing will happen unless you take action. Cornelius Eady compared life to an empty pair of dance shoes, and further compares it with other inanimate objects such as a wart, a rock. A leaf and a clown lying on its back. In the poem he mentions dancing shoes rather than regular shoes is significant because of the authors musical back ground and the love he has for blues music. HE has many central themes in his other work, along with the struggle of African Americans face. The two most common literary devices used in this poem are smiles and illusion. They both are used to describe similarities between two shoes, which is a representation of life, objects that are at a standstill. Cornelius Eady states that the shoes are like clown shoes that 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 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 part of the poem he made a statement that shoes won’t move even if that is in the middle of a very lively place because the shoes “run on their own sense of the world”. This is a hint that even if your lie has many busy things going on around it, even if you have many lively friends accomplishing things, that doesn’t necessarily mean that 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...
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