No Rack Can Torture Me by Emily Dickinson (1830–86)

NO rack can torture me,
My soul ’s at liberty.
Behind this mortal bone
There knits a bolder one

You cannot prick with saw,
Nor rend with scymitar.
Two bodies therefore be;
Bind one, and one will flee.

The eagle of his nest
No easier divest
And gain the sky,
Than mayest thou,

Except thyself may be
Thine enemy;
Captivity is consciousness,
So’s liberty.

W.B. Yeats “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen”

When Loie Fuller’s Chinese dancers enwound
A shining web, a floating ribbon of cloth,
It seemed that a dragon of air
Had fallen among dancers, had whirled them round
Or hurried them off on its own furious path;
So the Platonic Year
Whirls out new right and wrong,
Whirls in the old instead;
All men are dancers and their tread
Goes to the barbarous clangour of a gong.” – W.B. Yeats, ll.49-58 in the poem “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen”.

What Would They Say? – Alfonsina Storni (1892 – 1938)

What would the people say, reduced and empty,
If one fortuitous day, by some extreme fantasy,
I were to dye my hair silvery and violet, were to wear an old greek gown, exchanging the comb
for a circlet of flowers: forget-me-nots or jasmines,
were to sing through the streets to the rhythm of the violins,
or were to read my verses aloud, traveling the plazas
my gusto freed of common gags?

Would they go to watch me, covering the sidewalks?
Would they burn me like they burned enchantresses?
Would they ring the bells, calling to mass?

In truth, when I think of it, I laugh a little.