The Spiegeltent (for Heather)

by poetrydiary

I didn’t see the mirrors for a while,
beneath the velvet warmth
of cosy history.

Then you asked,
and the mirrors captured us,
as they caught those who danced and sang
between the wars.

Each dancer’s dreams and hopes are in these mirrors still;
kaleidoscopes of humanity
(which keep out the rain)
augmented now by yours
and mine.

In the spirit of this Spiegeltent,
we live, in joy;
knowing what’s to come,
and what endures.


I spent most of Sunday with a friend of mine at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, and we had lunch in a Spiegeltent, which was an unexpected pleasure. Spiegeltent is Dutch for mirror tent, and according to Wikipedia they date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I felt ours dated from sometime in the 1920s, and perhaps did indeed host singers like Marlene Dietrich in her prime.