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Trousered Ape
An exercise in presumption.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Longfellow, as promised, after which I retire - this is becoming dangerously addictive.

"You shall hear how Pau-Puk-Keewis,
How the handsome Yenadizze
Danced at Hiawatha's wedding."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Song of Hiawatha", canto XI

This was after they had practiced
Ancient rituals, established
In the age of myth and legend,
Long before their fathers' fathers
Brought the tribe to Gitche Gumee;
Long before the tribe had settled
On the shores of Gitche Gumee
By the shining Big-Sea-Water.

First the best man rose and chanted
Words of glad congratulation
To the smiling Hiawatha
And the blushing Laughing Water.
Then the whole assembly gathered.
Raised as one their glasses, brimming
With the merry wine a-sparkle,
And in honor of the couple
Drained them to the very bottom.

Then the lovely Laughing Water,
Taking up her bridal nosegay,
Made of hollyhocks and daisies,
Violets and black-eyed Susans,
Tossed it to the waiting maidens.
Bright-eyed virgins, eager, jostling,
Vied to catch the flying nosegay.

Then arose a raucous cheering,
As the noble Hiawatha
Knelt and raised the lower portion
Of fair Laughing Water's garment
And removed the silken garter,
Stood and threw it to his groomsmen.
One leapt out before the others,
Seized the ornament in triumph,
And the shapely thigh encircled
Of the maiden with the nosegay.

Then the wedding cake in glory,
Borne upon the brawny shoulders
Of a dozen mighty warriors,
Set before the whole assembly,
Caused the wedding guests to marvel,
Caused the waiting mouths to water.
Seven layers tall it stood there
Cased in shining spotless frosting
Whiter still than any swansdown;
And each layer was encrusted
With rococo decoration:
Seashells, scrollwork, swags and flowers,
In more colors than the rainbow -
An astonishing confection!

Stepping forth, the major-domo
Sliced the cake, as was his duty,
With his knife of shining copper,
Handle wrought of polished elkhorn,
Brought to noble Hiawatha
And to lovely Laughing Water,
Each a portion; then the couple
Followed the time-honored fashion,
Showed their mutual affection,
Mashed it in each other's faces.

Now at last the shaman summoned
Forth the chieftain Pau-Puk-Keewis,
Urged him to begin the dancing,
To arise and lead the dancing,
Dancing by the whole assembly
Of the sacred Hoki-Poki.

Now the handsome Yenadizze,
In accordance with the pattern,
Laid down in the days of legend,
Rose and inward put his right hand,
Put it outward, put it inward,
Shook it all about with vigor,
Raised his hands to point to Heaven,
Flourished them in awful gesture
Of the sacred Hoki-Poki;
Lastly, turning in a circle,
He completed the first figure,
Followed by the whole assembly.

Thus the chieftain Pau-Puk-Keewis
Gravely led them in the dancing
Of the sacred Hoki-Poki.

Now the dance grows ever faster!
Left hand follows hard the right hand,
Left foot follows hard the right foot,
And upon the dancers' raiment,
Eagle feathers, deerskin fringes
Toss about as do the branches
Of the birch trees in the forest
When the east wind blows in autumn.

Now the dance grows ever faster!
Head and backside, each in order,
Each receives its due attention.
Feet in moccasins of buckskin
Strike in unison the dance-floor,
Strike it with a noise like thunder.

And the voice of Pau-Puk-Keewis
Loudly, clearly, sets the measure,
As he leads the sacred dancing.
Ever onward, Pau-Puk-Keewis!
Never tiring, never failing!
As the spirits had commanded
In the misty days of legend,
Long before the tribe had settled
On the shores of Gitche Gumee
By the shining Big-Sea-Water.

Now there comes the final figure!
Now the dancers, spirit-guided,
Lost in rhythmic exaltation,
Fling their bodies with abandon
Inwards, outwards; then they send them
Spinning like the mighty whirlwind!
Thus the dancing is concluded.

Thus they danced the Hoki-Poki,
Danced the sacred Hoki-Poki
On the shores of Gitche Gumee
By the shining Big-Sea-Water
As the spirits had commanded
In the age of myth and legend.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Did you know that reading my blog makes you awesome by association?

It's true!

Longfellow's hokey-pokey is postponed until the golden fog of vanity dissipates.

(P.S., go and vote. (You have to cast a vote in every category, so be prepared to do some research.))
Sunday, January 27, 2013
And now, Omar Khayyam (strictly speaking, the FitzGerald translation; my extremely short list of scholarly accomplishments does not extend to Persian):

Carousing having palled on me, I turned
To abstruse Sciences, whereby I learned
That I should wander far across the Globe
Ere I would find the Peace for which I yearned.

In ancient Kaikobad I chanced to meet
A Wedding party passing down the Street;
They bade me join them, vowing they would show
To me that which would make my Quest complete.

I did this Opportunity embrace,
And in the dancing Circle took my Place,
And let the Spell of Hautboy, Shawm, and Drum
Possess my Body with its rhythmic Grace.

In turn, I inward put and outward took
Each Hand and Foot, which afterwards I shook;
I Hokey-pokeyed, turned about and found
A Wisdom never writ in any Book.

For sudden Revelation, with a Clout
Upside my Head, put Ignorance to Rout;
And Understanding sweetly Pierced my Soul:
Aye, verily, That's what It's all about.
Friday, January 25, 2013
As an Ape, it is my natural lot to imitate my betters; so, I follow Tom at dark speech upon the harp in hokey-pokeying in the style of various poets.

Starting off with Edgar Lee Masters:

Bildad Hoke

From my youth I was a devotee of Terpsichore
And created new dances in Her honor
And danced them in the square.
But the Philistines of Spoon River
Would tell me I was crazy
And go off to Burchard's grog shop.
So I went to Chicago
And studied Dance and Music and Poetry
And created a dance more marvelous than any before
And in pride and vanity named it after myself.
The summer I came home
I went to the wedding of Fletcher and Ollie McGee
And afterwards at the reception
I gave a copy of the score to Fiddler Jack
And a dollar to play it.
The melody started
And I went out on the dance floor.
I stuck my right hand in,
And out, and in,
And I shook it all about,
And I did my marvelous Hoke-y-Pokey and turned myself about -
But Thomas Rhodes was lost in thoughts of gain,
And Frank Drummer was reading Volume IX (Ent-Fra) of the
Encyclopedia Britannica,
And Minerva Jones was scribbling an epithalamion on the back of an envelope,
And Lydia Puckett and Lucius Atherton were eying one another,
And Knowlt Hoheimer was eying them,
And Deacon Taylor was drunk,
And Anne Rutledge had buttonholed A. D. Blood
And was bragging about how Abraham Lincoln had been her boyfriend,
And Enoch Dunlap had gone to the men's room -
And nobody noticed me at all.
I opened my mouth to cry out,
"But that is what it's all about!"
And fell down senseless.


Upcoming: Omar Khayyam and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Many cats have lived with us over the years.  Some have been smarter than average.  And some haven't.

Cat without a clue,
Don't know what to do,
Night and day, your wit's astray -
Cat without a clue.

Tell me why you're sitting there,
Eyes wide open in a vacant stare,
Haven't got an idea anywhere -
Cat without a clue.

Cat without a clue,
Don't know what to do,
Paws tucked under, sit and wonder -
Cat without a clue.

I don't want to be unkind,
But not thinking puts you in a bind,
Did the pixies steal away your mind -
Cat without a clue.

Cat without a clue,
Don't know what to do,
Wash your face, your head's in space -
Cat without a clue.

Come and curl up in my lap,
Doesn't take a brain to take a nap,
You'd look silly in a thinking cap -
Cat without a clue.

Cat without a clue,
Say, how do you do,
Mew and purr, your brain's a blur -
Cat without a clue.

Sunday, January 06, 2013
Rejoinder to ThomasD, the erstwhile dylan, of dark speech upon the harp:

My own autobiographical double-dactyl:

Bob the Ape recklessly
Spiked his Pierian
With some brown acid and
Drank the whole thing.

Since then his verse has been
Furiosissimus -
Take hime to Bedlam and
Make him the king!


And a very silly limerick:

An ambitious young man from Saskatchewan
One day put a pair of eyepatches on -
As he stumbled about,
He gave vent to a shout:
"I'll be famous if ever this catches on!"
Saturday, January 05, 2013
Some literary limericks:

If Dorothy L. Sayers had been really lazy:

Lord Peter and Bunter, while hot
On the trail of a criminal, got
Introduced to Miss Vane,
Who, though sometimes a pain
In the end to the altar was brought.


If Herman Melville had been really lazy:

Ahab's leg got chewed up by a whale,
So with Ishmael on board he set sail.
The voyage took ages,
And hundreds of pages;
At the end, the whale sneered, "Epic fail."


If Dostoevsky had been really really lazy:

Who left poor old Fyodor dead?
Was it Ivan, with brains in his head?
Alyosha the good?
Or Dmitri the hood?
No - 'twas Smerdyakov, base and ill-bred.


If Tolstoy had been really really really lazy:

Prince Andrei was terribly bored,
Natasha was spoiled and froward,
Pierre was a puzzler,
Young Rostov a hustler,
And Bonaparte matched with his horde.


And a poisontea:

He poisoned her milk of magnesia, but
He found it was labor in vain -
The doctor had cured what was wrong with her gut,
And she poured the whole thing down the drain.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.


Please pray for the souls in Purgatory

May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.


New address bobtheape88...at...gmail...dot...com


Family:
  The Ape's Human Bride
    Blogging at Plodding Toward Holiness
  The Authoress
  The Storm Queen

Household:
  Those Darn Cats



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