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Mayra Moran
Professor Lynnette Morinini
English 114 B
6 May 2015
Stop and Take a Moment
The poem Slow Dance written by David L. Weatherford is a poem about time and life.
The poem explores the idea of passing by through life without taking the time to slow down and
enjoy life. The speaker of the poem is the writer himself asking the readers whether or not they
take the time to appreciate the small things in life, in order for the audience to self-evaluate their
answers. Weatherford uses the writing elements imagery, symbolism, and end rhyme in his poem
to point out to his audience that life does not last forever, and its okay to slow down sometimes
to enjoy the things in life. By analyzing the poetry elements and relating the poem to my
personal life I was able to dig deeper into the concept of this poem.
David L. Weatherford was a child phycologist and a write during his lifetime. There is
not much information available about Weatherfords life, but from an online source it says
Weatherford was born on July 20th 1952 in Nashville. Weatherford suffered through kidney
failure and had some painful experiences that brought him to writing. According to Weatherford
in an interview he had, Slow Dance was actually one of the very first poem he wrote and for
many years he did not receive credit for the poem because he was unaware of the popularity it
had reached. David L. Weatherford passed away on January 7th 2010, but he left behind his
beautiful poem, Slow Dance behind. Slow Dance points out the blessing in life by using the
poetry elements imagery, symbolism, end rhyme, and using events in every-day life.

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In Slow Dance the author uses visual and auditory imagery to create events that can
occur in any persons average day. In the first couple of verses Weatherford asks his audience if
they have ever watched the kids on a merry-go-round or gazed at the sun fading into the
night (Lines 1, 4). Both these verses are examples of joyful events that the reader can easily
picture in their head. When I read these verses I can imagine the children running around happily
and the sunset falling. By questioning the audience if they have seen these common events
Weatherford invites the audience into the poem. He also ask the reader if they have ever listen
to the rain slapping the ground; this is an example of auditory imagery because when I read the
verse I quickly think about the noise slapping on the ground makes (Line 2 ). The author uses
these examples of every-day life event to illustrate how there are so many interesting things
occurring in peoples life that are often unacknowledged because people tend to always busy and
distracted by things. Weatherford wants to point out that its important to appreciate the things
in life that can sometimes be taken for granted.
Symbolism is an important element of poetry Weatherford uses because in Slow Dance
he uses a dance scene as a representation of life and the music as a representation of life span
time. Throughout the poem he writes, You better slow down, don't dance so fast, / time is short,
the music won't last and although in literal terms this means slow down and enjoy the song
before its over , this stanza can also be related to real life scenarios as well( Line 11, 12) . In
other words what Weatherford is trying to say is that sometimes a person need to stop passing
through life so quick and take a moment to appreciate the things in life before life quickly comes
to end and then in might be too late. I think Weatherford focuses on this topic and wants his
audience to understand this message due to events from his own personal experience. The author

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has a small guilty or regretful tone in the poem, perhaps from events in the past where he regrets
not appreciating things he should have, that lets the audience recognize Weatherfords message.
Part of the authors writing style is his use of end rhyme. In ever stanza he ends the verse
using the end rhyme element. For example the words fast and last rhyme as well as fly and
reply (Lines 5, 6, 7, 8). The slant end rhyme at the end of the verses add more to rhythm to the
poem and make the verses flow smoothly into chronological order. Weatherfords style of
writing invites his readers into the poem by asking the readers questions. He writes in second
person and this enables the reader to build a stronger connection with the poem as well.
Anyone can easily relate to this poem because Weatherford creates a setting that can
apply to different aspects in any persons life. He ask the reader if they have ever let a friend go
because they didnt have the time to stay in contact or if they ever fly through the day without
making real interactions with people, and I think these are both example of things many people
go through (Lines 15, 16). When I read through these lines, I automatically think of all the times
I took act in the events Weatherford mentions. The fast paste life many people live in American
society leaves little time to take a break to enjoy life. Everyone is running from place to place
and have so many things going on, that it can be easy to let time fly without taking a pause to
enjoy life. Weatherford clearly states in his poem: When you run so fast to get somewhere, /
you miss half the fun of getting there (Lines 23, 24). I think the author is saying that when a
person rushes through life so quick it is easy to not take in all the blessings in life.
With some many things going in peoples life like school, work, study time, and fitness;
it is easy to rush through the day without taking the time to say hello to someone or ask them
how they are doing. I can see examples of the idea the author is illustrating in my own life from
my own experience growing up with two full time working parents. My parents are always so

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busy always going to work and coming home late. My family and I get caught up in out busy fast
paste life and leave little time to spend as a family. Whenever my mom comes home from work
in the mornings; I am usually leaving to school or work, so sometimes there will be days where
we wont see each other at all. After reading the poem, I realized I was not taking anytime to
enjoy and be thankful for things I take for granted. Weatherfords illustrates idea of rushing
through life so quick that one misses the little things.This is a universal theme because it can
apply to any person and many families can relate to it.
The poetry elements Weatherford uses help create a memorable moment for his
readers. When the author states in the end that life is short and worth enjoying; he opens the
readers minds and makes them question themselves if they have taken the time to appreciate life
and all the things that come along with it. In one of Weatherford interviews he said, My advice
is simply to appreciate the blessings in your life Joy is not handed to anyone, but it is created
within ourselves through how we choose to look at life and how best to live it. Reading Slow
Dance makes me want to slow down a bit and be more appreciative of things in my life. I think
the author creates a setting that the reader can relate to in order to point out that there is much
more to life than work and profit. Weatherford wants his audience to take a moment to stop and
have a conversation with someone or watch the sunset fall before the music stops and time is
over.