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Showing posts from March, 2011

Historical Medals

Two of my writing "heroes", the historian Bernard Bailyn and the harder to classify Jacques Barzun, both received National Humanities Medals last week. Bailyn's Ideological Origins of the American Revolution was an eye-opener for me and changed the way I view history by turning me onto the role that ideas play (instead of just "players"). My first introduction to Barzun was his work on writing and researching (The Modern Researcher) that was required reading for my history courses at Providence College.  I then ran across a collection of his essays and another book on writing, which I keep handy. A well-deserved honor for both men.

Damhsa

See the girls
With bouncy curls
See the boys
Serious, poised
Pointed toes
Arms pinned close
Ghillies tied tight
(We hope!)

Fiddle plays the tune
Music fills the room
Dancers spring
Clasp hands in a ring
Twirling, whirling
Weave through a maze
Heads unfazed
Leap apart
Hit the mark
Stillness

Take a bow
Then take two
Go offstage
Change those shoes
(Quickly!)

Now move the feet
To the bodrhan's beat
Legs fly up
Feet come down
Hard shoes smack
Clackity-clack
Stomp!
Stillness

Whether Hornpipe,
Or reel
Or a jig
That is up
Smiles erupt
Because of the joy
That is damhsa