Behold me, in my chiffon, gauze, and tinsel, Flitting out of the shadow into the spotlight, And into the shadow again, without a whisper!- Firefly's my name, I am evanescent.
Firefly's your name. You are evanescent. But I follow you as remorselessly as darkness, And shut you in and enclose you, at last, and always, Till you are lost,-as a voice is lost in silence.
Till I am lost, as a voice is lost in silence. . . Are you the one who would close so cool about me? My fire sheds into and through you and beyond you: How can your fingers hold me? I am elusive.
How can my fingers hold you? You are elusive? Yes, you are flame, but I surround and love you, Always extend beyond you, cool, eternal, To take you into my heart's great void of silence.
You shut me into your heart's great void of silence. . . O sweet and soothing end for a life of whirling! Now I am still, whose life was mazed with motion. Now I sink into you, for love of sleep.
About This Poem "Dancing Adairs" was first published in Aiken's 1916 collection "Turns and Movies."
About Conrad Aiken Conrad Aiken, a poet, playwright, essayist and novelist, was born in Savannah, Ga., in 1889. He published over 30 books of poetry and was named the poetry consultant to the Library of Congress in 1950. Aiken died in Savannah in 1973.
*** The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.
This poem is in the public domain. Distributed by King Features Syndicate