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Monthly Archives: April 2013

The maypole

Maypole on the village green

Standing high it could touch the sky

Coloured ribbons cascading down,

With children dancing all around

Singing songs and having fun

Mayday history is carried on

Now all the April showers have gone,

Lambs in fields skipping around

Morris dancers join in the the mayday fun,

Banging their sticks upon the ground

Everyone enjoying the May day sun

Thomas Sims

Workers maypole

World Workers, whatever may bind ye,
    This day let your work be undone:
Cast the clouds of the winter behind ye,
     And come forth and be glad in the sun.

Now again while the green earth rejoices
     In the bud and the blossom of May
Lift your hearts up again, and your voices,
     And keep merry the World’s Labour Day.

Let the winds lift your banners from far lands
    With a message of strife and of hope:
Raise the Maypole aloft with its garlands
     That gathers your cause in its scope.

It is writ on each ribbon that flies
     That flutters from fair Freedom’s heart:
If still far be the crown and the prize
     In its winning may each take a part.

Your cause is the hope of the world,
     In your strife is the life of the race,
The workers’ flag Freedom unfurled
     Is the veil of the bright future’s face.

Be ye many or few drawn together,
     Let your message be clear on this day;
Be ye birds of the spring, of one feather
     In this–that ye sing on May-Day.

Of the new life that still lieth hidden,
     Though its shadow is cast before;
The new birth of hope that unbidden
     Surely comes, as the sea to the shore.

Stand fast, then, Oh Workers, your ground,
     Together pull, strong and united:
Link your hands like a chain the world round,
     If you will that your hopes be requited.

When the World’s Workers, sisters and brothers,
     Shall build, in the new coming years,
A lair house of life–not for others,
     For the earth and its fulness is theirs.

Walter Crane 1894

may pole

History of Maypole Dancing   

Elizabethan maypole with dancers accompanied by pipe and drum player.

The Betley window may have been created as long ago as 1509 and shows a stripy maypole in the centre

A painting of around 1750 in Elmbridge museum, Weybridge showing maypole dancing on Monument Green. This unknown amateur artist has portrayed ordinary people enjoying themselves .Click on this picture to enlarge it

May Day in Kings Lynn. The maypole is carried and bears a garland with a doll in the middle (The May Queen?)

London children (1892) improvise a maypole dance around a lamp post on their street corner.

The earliest Maypoles were part of a celebration of Summer which would be linked in with mystical things like tree worship and more basic things like an excuse for dancing and having a good time.

They were probably just simple trees cut down and re-erected in the centre of a village green.  We know that by the 16th and 17th centuries they were often very tall as we have paintings showing people dancing around them and the Puritans, who hated them, described in great detail what they were destroying, although the actual dances were not recorded.

After the Restoration many Maypoles were re-instated and a notable one was in the Strand.  This was 134 foot high (41m) and stood there until Sir Isaac Newton used parts of it as a base for his telescope!  Some of the maypoles from that period still survive in villages around the country.  None of these maypoles had ribbons so the dances were probably any circular dances that were popular at the time.

Other countries also had maypoles and there are pictures from Germany showing Maypoles with ribbons and from France and the court of Louis XIV.  There were also pictures showing Maypoles with Ribbons at Vauxhall Gardens in the 18th century.

 The Maypole Dancing that people know today, happened because John Ruskin introduced it at Whitelands College in 1881 and created a series of dances and a May Pageant.

Generations of teachers learnt all about these and took them wherever they went on to teach and by the middle of the 20th century it had become a major tradition, much of which survives to the present day but for some years had been dying out as fewer teachers knew the dances.

Fortunately over the last few years Maypole Dancing has had a bit of a revival for all sorts of reasons to do with a greater awareness of our own culture and the sheer enjoyment by dancers and audience alike.  The difference now is that there is a far greater degree of creativity with new dances and styles being invented all the time.


 In the early days the music would have been played on instruments like the Pipe & Tabor or the English Bagpipes and we can see these in those early paintings.  By the time John Ruskin came along the concertina or the fiddle would have been added and then later instruments would have included the accordion, flutes or any instruments that were loud enough to work in the open air.  That still hold true but now often people dance to recorded music, whether recordings of country dance music and instruments like those mentioned or even pop songs and rap.


Originally children would have worn their best clothes.  By the time we reached Victorian times there was a deliberate attempt to re-create an image of “Merrie England” (which never really existed) and so costumes would have been chosen to reflect that.

Nowadays anything goes.  There are Tudor Peasants, Victorian Gentlemen & Ladies, Medieval Costumes which can be quite grand, Sports Kit, Simple variations on school uniform or just sashes to identify dancers from spectators.

Other Maypoles & Traditions

While Maypoles are regarded as something very English they exist in many other parts of the world , although sometimes in slightly different forms.  We have already mentioned Germany & France.  There are traditions in Galicia (in Spain), Finland & Mexico. We have come across people who learnt Maypole Dancing 60 or more years ago in Jamaica and Trinidad.  We have also heard about a tradition in Iran.

A country maypole.

The Rotunda, Ranelagh Gardens, Chelsea, London, May 1759. Earliest known depiction of ribbon and pole dance in England.

Ribbon plaiting was performed in pleasure gardens such as Vauxhall, Ranelagh & Cremorne Gardens (above) in the late 18th & early 19th century.

A traditional English maypole is shown in this 18th century print. The dancers hold hands and circle around the pole

Whitelands teacher training college 1889. The May Queen ceremony was instigated by John Ruskin, the Victorian art critic and writer. It was from here that the ribbon dance spread through schools up and down the country

This traditional tall maypole is raised at Barwick-in-Elmet, Yorkshire, 1951. When it was raised some brave soul would climb the pole and spin the weather vane at the top.

Red House

Nice poem!

《梦的衣裳》The Gown of Dream

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River of the heart

《梦的衣裳》The Gown of Dream


When the Night has removed
her gown of day
and the Flower
her gown of colours
and the Silence
her gown of noise
the Dream has just slipped into
her gown of reality

2013年4月28日于Ahmedabad, 印度。

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Visual Music: Butterflies

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Robert Custons Blog

I wanted to write a poem which details how it feels to fall in love. The problem was that I didn’t want to write a generic, soppy love poem.

I made sure that the poem did not contain locations, specifics or even gender. It just drilled into what it feels like and how the conversations usually go. Interestingly the poem actually is from two people’s view at the same time, using “we” instead of “I”,”he”, or “she”.

Poem: Butterflies

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Spring time!

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the sun on a leaf –
a little treat for the price
of looking up

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National Poetry Month: April 28th


The novice who had some gold by Farid Attar (translated Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis)

A novice hid a little store of gold.
His sheikh knew this, although he’d not been told.
There was a journey that they had to make —
The two set out, the young man and his sheikh;
Then night came to the valley where they walked,
And into two the path they followed forked.
The novice trembled for his hidden gold
(Which makes its owners rather less than bold);
“Which way do you advise?” he asked his sheikh.
“There are two paths; which is the best to take?”
The sheikh said: “Throw out what you cannot hide,
Then either way will do — as you decide.”

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love, everywhere

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the blog

love, everywhere


my feet followed

where my heart led me


what i found was

love, everywhere

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Let Us Go Then …

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Truth Within, Shines Without

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

~ T S Eliot


Let us go then, you and I

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

The muttering retreats

Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:

Streets that follow like a tedious argument

Of insidious intent

To lead you to an overwhelming question….

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,

The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes

Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,

Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,

Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,

Slipped by the…

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We love this!


My thought of you carries so much weight
that a typical guy couldn’t lift it on his best day
our silent charm is so contagious
that i’ve realized the only vaccine for it is named us


so independent that to a normal man
she is an acquired taste
& if you don’t truly understand
then she’d be unbearable to breath like mace
why run through her thoughts; when loving her is a never ending race
that’s why my feelings for her always stays in one place



others don’t or know how to fully understand her ways

i silently map out what she wants to be witnessed in her maze
by seeing the small things & how they need to be arranged

cause she’s deserving

is all i am sayinglove-couple-kissing-htc-4g-wallpapers

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Spring – A Poem

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Caryn Moya Block

Gardens 2013The month of April is almost gone. I hope you’ve enjoyed the poems I’ve shared for National Poetry Month.


Winter is tucked into bed, awaiting autumn’s call.

While Spring dances to and fro,

encouraging buds to bloom and sap to run,

birds to sing and creeks to burble.

Spring dances until Summer comes to take the lead,

and then she too is tucked in bed.

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Sirena Tales

your eyes twin suns beam

soul’s radiance sustenance

for thirsting world: shine


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Secret Keeper

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Poetic musings


Dark, Mysterious eyes,
Holding a hundred untold secrets
In their hidden depths
Gazed, deep into mine
Searching for my little secrets
And caught me imprisoned there.
I felt myself drowning
Deep into its unknown depths
Not a single resort to hold on.
Something stirred deep inside
The world changed in an instant
My secrets were no longer mine
But I got myself a secret keeper
I felt myself relaxing
And started enjoying the ride.


This poem is also available in PoemHunter & Deepaspoems

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The Writer




Free thinker, liberated from the shackles of society, creative, these are some of the attributes that describes a writer. The people who will pour their heart out on a piece of paper and I think everyone has a writer in them, some write because it’s their passion, some write because they just want to have fun and some because it’s easier to pen down their thoughts on a piece of paper than to discuss it with a friend. A writer is no average Joe or Jane, they just wander off to their wonderland and create a piece that is inspiring or has a different point of view. When all is said and done a writer always has to write the truth and only the truth. They have an obligation to the society to put their hand on the bible and cross their heart, to write the truth and nothing but…

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Little Little Man – Alfonsina Storni (1892 – 1938)

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Little little man, little little man,
set free your canary that wants to fly.
I am that canary, little little man,
leave me to fly.

I was in your cage, little little man,
little little man who gave me my cage.
I say “little little” because you don’t understand me
Nor will you understand.

Nor do I understand you, but meanwhile,
open for me the cage from which I want to escape.
Little little man, I loved you half an hour,
Don’t ask me again.

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THE STONE ANGEL by Becky G. Brinn




The stone angel stands guard.
Over the little girl’s tomb.
A life so short, on earth unmarred.
In God’s midst in heaven to bloom.

By: Becky G. Brinn

11-2-12 145

Child’s Grave, Oakwood Cemetery

Raleigh, North Carolina



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Of Mountains

love this poem

Search for The Soul - Indrajit Rathore

The spirit of mountains have enthralled us for millenia. A small local hill in a unkown town becomes its landmark casting its shadow from east and west to determine the life style of that town. People respect it, fear it and often attribute a spirit to it. Whether Fujiyama, Kilimanjaro, Vesuvius, Alps or the Himalayas they all inspire a sense of awe and  arouse mystical wonder. The Himalayas are reckoned as the seat of the gods and mystics and Yogis meditate there in its caves, while the holy river Ganges flows from its bosom to water the vast expanses of North India. A land with mountains is dominated by their presence which shapes the lives of the inhabitants, their philosophy, culture, and way of life. Once on a visit to the Himalayas I was so overwhelmed by their magnificence, stately beauty and awesome presence that I conceived a poem as a tribute to their majesty…

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