Thursday, January 10, 2013

Celtic hokey-pokey

1) Seamus Heaney:

On Devenish I did the hokey-pokey
With stub-toed blunt-brogued farmhands from Fermanagh
And giggly strips of girls from the hedges of Glanmore.

Our soil was poor. My father worked this land

And thrust a fierce spade into the earth's black reek.
He'd scorn the reel and twist of country dances.

When Patrick forced and cursed the snakes away,

He hoisted his crozier and shook it all about
Like the leg of Suibhne doing the hokey-pokey.

The Devenish weather was gray.  All slate and sleet.

Bodies of buried boys beneath the boor-trees
Were numb to the bluff pressed heft of the dancers' tread.

2) Dylan Thomas:

Now as I was young and silly among the rustic dancers
About the country farm and happy as the wheat was high,
        The moon above the meadow milky,
            Time let me shake it all about
        Golden in the Sundays of his gaze
And honored among haystacks I was lord of the hokey-pokey
And once upon a twist and turn I boldly had the trodden grass
             Bend with the lyric breezes
Down the paces of the quaint and curious motion.

3) Gerard Manley Hopkins:

Glory be to God for the hokey-pokey:
    For couples, singles, dancing in a circle,
        For left foot thrust in, left foot taken out!
Strut-stepping, country-clumsy, jittery-jokey,
    Swains, maidens, twinned in a twisting miracle,
        Turning themselves and shaking themselves about!

All things rustic, mystic, silly and free,
    All things dopey, dippy, dorky and dumb!
        The stress of the step, the force of the festive tread!
Heaven engenders this stippled-with-sundown glee --
         So go ahead!