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The Dancing Pants

December 6, 2011

I recently became really inspired by one of my favorite Go van Gogh programs in which we discuss an abstract painting that we have paired with a Shel Silverstein poem. I really loved the new associations and meanings this juxtaposition brought to light. I decided to find more connections between Silverstein and the collection. Below you will find the original pairing that inspired me, followed by my own couplings.

1.

The Dancing Pants

And now for the Dancing Pants,
Doing their fabulous dance.
From the seat to the pleat
They will bounce to the beat,
With no legs inside them
And no feet beneath.
They’ll whirl, and twirl, and jiggle and prance,
So just start the music
And give them a chance -
Let’s have a big hand for the wonderful, marvelous,
Super sensational, utterly fabulous,
Talented Dancing Pants!

The Reveler

2.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends,
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Clouds (Wolken) 

3.

Hug O’War

I will not play at tug o’ war
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses
And everyone grins
And everyone cuddles
And everyone wins.

The Divers

4.

My Guitar

Oh, wouldn’t it be a most wondrous thing
To have a guitar that could play and could sing
By itself - what an absolute joy it would be
To have a guitar…that didn’t need me.

The Guitarist

6.

The Deadly Eye

It’s the deadly eye
Of Poogley-Pie.
Look away, look away,
As you walk by,
‘Cause whoever looks right at it
Surely will die
It’s a good thing you didn’t
You did? …
Good-bye.

Black-figure kylix

Space
And last but certainly not least, a very special quote from Shel Silverstein…

Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.

Legal Pad Sheet

Space
These are some of the artworks I associate with Shel Silverstein’s poems. What comes to mind when you read them? Are there other artworks that they could be paired with?

Want to explore more literary connections to art? Check out Arts and Letters Live. See what this year has in store for music, film, and performance at the DMA when the 2012 season is announced on December 8th. Programs fun for all ages!

SPACE

Hope you enjoy,

Hannah Burney

McDermott Intern for Teaching Programs and Partnerships

space

Images used:

The Reveler, Jean Dubuffet, 1964, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark

Clouds (Wolken), Sigmar Polke, 1989, mixed media on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund and the Contemporary Art Fund:  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon E. Faulconer, Mr. and Mrs. Bryant M. Hanley, Jr., Marguerite and Robert K. Hoffman, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Gayle and Paul Stoffel, and two anonymous donors

The Divers, Fernand Leger, 1942, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation

The Guitarist, Pablo Picasso, 1965, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund

Legal Pad Sheet, Alex Hay, 1967, spray lacquer and stencil on linen, Dallas Museum of Art, Ruth and Clarence Roy Fund and DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Black-figure kylix, Greek; Attic, last quarter 6th century B.C., ceramic, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil H. Green

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicole Stutzman permalink*
    December 8, 2011 11:20 am

    So, so creative. I especially love Polke’s Clouds paired with “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” Cool beans Hannah!

  2. December 8, 2011 11:38 am

    Thanks Nicole! Getting to spend some quality time with the poems of Shel Silverstein was really fun. I hadn’t read his books since I was a kid, and to this day they still make me laugh.

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