The speaker refers to the stranger as “God”, though it is evident that he is Just a man. This is because she thinks he influenced her life so dramatically that he could not possibly be a simple human, therefore he must be God. “At first the surprise/ of being singled out,’ the dance floor crowded/ and me not looking my best,] a too-often worn dress/ and the man with me/ a budding casualty/ of one repetition too much,] God touched his shoulder/ and he left.
When she first introduces him, it is unclear of why she is calling him God. However, out of all the people in the club, he chooses her to dance. Not used to this kind of attention, she is shocked. As the poem progresses it becomes apparent that the speaker calls this man God because he essentially performed a miracle. In her eyes, he Is her savior, making her aware of how unfilled her current life is.
Although her interpretation of this man Is substantial, the feeling he gives her is Imperative.
God makes the speaker feel things that she has never felt before, or emotions that she thought were long gone; leading her to realize all the things she has been missing out on. This Is evident when the speaker says, “l never danced better, freer, / as If dancing were my way/ of saying how easily/ I could be with him, or apart. In this line she Is realizing how effortless It was for her to connect with another man that Is not her husband.
She Is saying how easy Is It for her to be without him, proving how little she cares for him anymore.
The speaker feels as If her husband could never make her feel alive the way God does. “Then the confirmation of an old guess:’ God was a wild god/ Into the most mindless rock, but graceful. ‘ Looking -this excited me- Like no one I could love,] cruel mouth, eyes evocative/ of promises unwept. ” The speaker Is feeling such a rush by simply dancing with him. The speaker understands that God Is someone she would never be with; she determines this Just by his demeanor. He Is graceful yet wild, and that sense of mysteriousness Intrigues her.
She may be wondering If she actually could be with someone Like him; but she will never know for sure. She even wonders whether her experience was part of something more significant, “God held me close/ and I felt for a moment/ I’d mistaken hell,/ that he was Death/ and this the famous embrace/ before the lights go out. ” She felt so close to god, that at one point she questioned whether she was near death. She was not sure If these were her final moments and her life was flashing before her eyes. The speaker’s encounter with God Is what ultimately leads to her moment of self-discovery.
In these few short minutes, the speaker learns that this dance with a stranger has had a significant Impact on her life. “And I stood looking at a figure/ I wanted to slap/ or forgive for something/ I interacting with the speaker. To him, she was Just another woman at the club. This is shown when the speaker says, “He left then, no thanks,] no sign/ that he’d felt anything/ more than an earthly moment/ with someone who could’ve been/ anyone on earth. ” The speaker may be angry that this dance does not mean as much to him as it does to her.
His actions have now transformed her outlook on life, helping her uncover things about herself she did not know she desired. “Though it was clear/ there was no going back/ to the man who brought me,] nice man with whom I’d kissed and grown tired,] who danced wrong,] and never again/ could do anything right. ” At this point, the speaker has had an epiphany. She realizes that she no longer wants to live a monotonous life with a man she no longer loves. That one trivial dance with God has made her realize that life has so much more to offer; somewhere out there is something that can make her feel like herself once more.
She now knows that she is not the type of woman who is satisfied with living a “comfortable” and unfulfilled lifestyle. The speaker wants to achieve happiness and feel alive again. Many people think that discovering things about oneself involves big changes or meaningful experiences. When in fact, it can be revealed through the simplest of events. As illustrated in this poem, all it took was one dance for the speaker to realize who she was- or wasn’t. Through these events, individuals are able to find their place in the world and strive for what ultimately makes them happy.