Saturday, April 30, 2016

NaPoWriMo 2016, Day # 30 ~~ School Days [Poetizing the Maypole]

[please click on picture to make it a bit larger -- I am the boy in back]

Dance a Jig for Maypole Celebration

The teacher did her best, every year, come May first
Sunny or cold she'd have the kids out by the pole
The oldest boy played his role, shinnied up that pole
In his hands were clutched rolls of ribbon tightly wound

Hanging from his waist was a contraption complex
Envy of mechanical engineers they said
Teacher called it a spreader the kids all did laugh 
Farm kids knew only the manure spreader.  Not this

The 'big kid' hung the ribbons on the hooks
Hooks there on the teacher's neat contraption
Dangled them down to their ends, near the ground
Each kid scrambled get his favorite hue

On teachers command the boys and girls sang
They sang a jig which they'd already learned
So the dance would start, one goes to the right
Two goes to the left, three goes the right

And so on for a half turn they had gone
Then each would change direction turning left 
Another half turn and so on they would dance 
Dance until their ribbons were tightly 'twined

That's all this poor writer can remember
That was a long time ago.  Flash forward
In college days May pole dances were barred
'Communist inspired,' McCarthyism

Next I knew we were traveling Austria
Down the back roads every farm that we passed
Maypole standing tall.  One variation
Professional plaque, labour's alive, well 

“The Last of the Maypole Dancers”, by Ilsa Elford, (via link) 

Top Photo and Poem Copyright © 2010 and 2016 Jimmiehov, All Rights Reserved

This is the last day of National Poetry Month.  My writing is linked to Magaly Guerrero's post, Poetizing the Maypole, at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
(1) In the top picture, my school picture for the fourth grade, I was the biggest boy.  Perhaps the teacher climbed the flag pole to hang our ribbons.  More likely that was done by one of the fathers.  My sister was in the first grade, the tiniest girl. The girl next to her and the other boy were our first cousins.

(2) For directions telling how to make your own Maypole dance, click here

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At Saturday, April 30, 2016 11:33:00 AM, Blogger Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wonderful memories, Jim!

At Saturday, April 30, 2016 11:36:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Been a while back, eh, Jim ?? I know you wonder were all the classmates are today. I'm sure some have gone on to Glory. I bet you were the smartest boy. 1930-something?
... Dan

At Saturday, April 30, 2016 11:41:00 AM, Blogger Jim said...

Later than that, Dan!! But I'm not saying.

At Saturday, April 30, 2016 12:15:00 PM, Blogger Sanaa Rizvi said...

Such a delightful write Jim :D

At Saturday, April 30, 2016 12:34:00 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

I found your opening intriguing, Jim. Great poem!

At Saturday, April 30, 2016 2:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great memories, Jim!

At Saturday, April 30, 2016 2:23:00 PM, Blogger brudberg said...

What fine memories... but banned, that was stretching it I think.

At Saturday, April 30, 2016 2:26:00 PM, Blogger Helen said...

Oh, I have wonderful memories of Maypoles and Maypole dances!!!

At Saturday, April 30, 2016 3:13:00 PM, Blogger Magaly Guerrero said...

Love this bright memory, Jim... the step by step way into the dance, the thoughts around the activity, the laughter of the farm children (I so understand that part!). And the last two stanzas are just extra wonderful.

At Saturday, April 30, 2016 3:32:00 PM, Blogger Ellecee said...

I enjoyed your maypole story so much. Some things change and so things stay the same,,,

At Saturday, April 30, 2016 3:36:00 PM, Blogger Outlawyer said...

Such an interesting history, personal and also of the world. Thanks, Jim. k.

At Saturday, April 30, 2016 5:28:00 PM, Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Little country schools must look the same all the world over!

I enjoyed reading your poetic reminiscences, but am shocked all over again by the excess and stupidity of McCarthyism.

At Sunday, May 01, 2016 10:53:00 AM, Blogger De Jackson said...

Seems like a lovely tradition to me.

At Sunday, May 01, 2016 4:21:00 PM, Blogger Rommy said...

That is a really cool memory!

At Sunday, May 01, 2016 7:12:00 PM, Blogger Gillena Cox said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely memories Jim

my maypole response

much love...


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