Tuesday, January 08, 2013

More hokey-pokey


Eliot:

I have seen the wood-nymphs doing the hokey-pokey.
I do not think that they will dance with me.

We have lingered in the vast land of the pasture
Shaking our dancing feet in a curious gesture
Till the fiddle snaps a string, and the dancers stop
And, like dead leaves in city gutters, drop.

Roethke:

I wake to dance, and do the hokey-poke.
I shake myself, and turn myself about.
I laugh at life as at a silly joke.

Of those so close beside me, wench or bloke,
Kick up your heels with a tremendous shout!
I wake to dance, and do the hokey-poke

God bless the rain! It gives our clothes a soak,
But still we dance, and sing, without a doubt!
I laugh at life as at a silly joke.

I turn, like any cartwheel's wooden spoke;
I reel like an enthusiastic lout!
I wake to dance, and do the hokey-poke.
I laugh at life as at a silly joke.

Dickinson:


There's a certain Twist of Limb --
Summer Afternoons --
That impresses Like the Hum
Of Country-Western Tunes

Blithe Dancers in their Overalls

Perform the Hokey-Poke --
The joyful Tread -- The gleeful Twirls --
We laugh -- as at a Joke --

The Left Foot In -- the Left Foot Out --

A wholesome madness sweet --
You start to shake it all about
And then -- you must switch Feet --

The Bobolink and Bumblebee --

Were strangers to such Bliss
As Courting Couples Stepping Free
Upon the humble Grass --

Each Body -- in the Happy Throng --

Spins in the gentle Zephyr --
And sings the Hokey-Pokey Song
Cavorting -- like a Jester --

Ginsberg:


I saw the best dancers of my generation, phallic, orgasmical, naked,
shaking all about in the dharma-dappled farmland, doing the celestial hokey-pokey
angelheaded rustics in happy cocksure glee, kicking up their heels,
cosmic cavorters to lysergic fiddles, bumpkin bedlamites,
sticking the left foot in, and taking the left foot out,
reeling in the void of Rockland, grooving to Buddha's tune
as the prophetic crazy ghosts of Blake and Mayakovsky and Carl Solomon
square-dance to the hepcat jive of the shimmering heroin meadow.

*

(Coming soon: Wallace Stevens and Edna St Vincent Millay)