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The Hokey Pokey

Instructions – Shakespeare Style

The following is from the Washington Post Style Invitational contest that asked readers to submit “instructions” for something (anything), but written in the style of a famous person.  The winning entry was The Hokey Pokey (as written by William Shakespeare).

rear view of a Canada Goose, dancing
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 Heavens yoke.
          Blessed dirvish!  Surely canst go, girl.
          The Hoke, the poke — banish now thy doubt
          Verily, I say, ’tis what it’s all about.
                              — “William Shakespeare”


Written by Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls, Maryland

This delightful piece has been reproduced many times on the Internet, although I have not been able to locate either the author or the original entry in the Washington Post.  A version that includes the above picture of a dancing goose can be found here.