The Hokey-Pokey ... Shakespearean Style

My friends, family, and readers often send me humorous e-mails and videos. I am so appreciative when they do because, first of all, they usually make me laugh. Secondly, they give me "fun stuff" to share out here on the blog.

My friend, Cathy Witbeck, recently sent an email that contained this note:

The following is from the Washington Post Style Invitational Contest, a weekly contest that the Post runs. In March 2003, they asked readers to submit “instructions” for something (anything), but to win this particular time it had to be written in the style of a famous person. The winning entry was the Hokey-Pokey as written by William Shakespeare.

Hokey-Pokey by William Shakespeare

By Jeff Brechlin

O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke,
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from Heaven’s yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke—banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say, ‘tis what it’s all about.


I hope you enjoyed that little ditty as much as I did. May 2011 be a wonderful year for you!

------Blog article © C.L. (Cindy) Beck; "The Hokey-Pokey by William Shakespeare" reported to be from the Washington Post------


Pat Myers said...

While the Hokey-Poke sonnet was indeed a winner in The Washington Post's weekly Style Invitational contest (from March 2003), it's not by the person you credit it to. It's by Jeff Brechlin, now of Eagan, Minnesota.

Jeff has gained a bit of fame after the sonnet was published (with four lines of the 14 deleted for space). In fact, a composer set it to music for a chorus of Renaissance-style singers.

Please give him the credit he deserves.

And you should also check out The Style Invitational itself -- the weekly contest offers a different humor/wordplay contest each week. The results are amazingly clever and fun to read, even if you don't enter. You can see them at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational.

The Empress of The Style Invitational
The Washington Post

Cindy Beck, author said...

Hi Pat: Thank you so much for the information and for the correction on the author's name for the sonnet. I'd searched the Post online and even put in the words "Hokey-Pokey" in the Post's search box to try and verify the email ... but yea, and forsooth, to no avail!

I've corrected the info on the blog, as well as included the link to the Style Invitational.

A big thank you goes to the Empress for stopping by, and for running such fun contests at the Washington Post!:)

Cindy Beck, author said...

Note: For those who would rather click, than to copy and paste the link for the Post's Style Invitational, here it is in clickable form:
Washington Post Style Invitational.

Hermana Maw said...

What a fun contest! And what a fun winner. Thanks for the smile.

Toyin O. said...

Thanks for sharing.