Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tarantella

I came across the following poem, Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc, by chance yesterday and was captivated by it. I had not previously read the poem or heard of it. The tarantella is a frenetic Spanish dance, as I recall, and the first part of the poem emulates the dance’s moves, claps and pace. The second part, the memory, slows down that pace. 

It is believed that the poem was written for Miranda Macintosh, the son of Hugh Macintosh, a friend with whom Belloc shared the holiday at the inn situated at Canfranc in the Spanish Pyrennees.

Feedback on whether others knew the poem and any comments?

Tarantella

- Hilaire Belloc

Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark veranda)?
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
Who hadn't got a penny,
And who weren't paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the din?
And the hip! hop! hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the swirl and the twirl
Of the girl gone chancing,
Glancing,
Dancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of the clapper to the spin
Out and in--
And the ting, tong, tang of the guitar!
Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?

Never more;
Miranda,
Never more.
Only the high peaks hoar;
And Aragon a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the halls where falls
The tread
Of the feet of the dead to the ground,
No sound:
But the boom
Of the far waterfall like doom.


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