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Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Hoopoe for Sami Hyypiä

A while back I wrote a longish prose piece about Australia in which I speculated on the fantastical creature that is the night parrot, a bird presumed long extinct, several tantalizing (but dead) examples of which have turned up in recent years. Mystery continues to surround it. It might be extinct, on the point of extinction, or (a much more satisfying possibility) it may instead have perfected the admirable art of stowing itself in Australia’s red centre, in secretive abundance.

I thought of this on reading a poem by Justin Quinn about another such secretive bird, the hoopoe, and which put all the above much more succinctly. The poem is a sonnet and begins with a description of a murky political assassination in the Czech Republic, before ending:

The hitman, he gets rich
and lives beyond the scope
of the curious and the keen

much like the hoopoe which
is native throughout Europe
and nowhere to be seen.


I was also reminded in reading of the hoopoe that Sami Hyypiä is about to leave Anfield after ten years, 460 appearances and 35 goals, which isn’t bad for a defender. I salute this marvellous man. My semi-onomatopoeic, Paulinesque use of ‘yoik’ is a nod to the Finnish, nay, the Sami art of yoiking, a specimen of which I have retrieved from youtube (top of this post). But now my Sami tribute:

Some Nordic hoopoe or
waxwing up to his tricks
again in the box,

Sami Hyypiä,
never happier
than to meet

a corner he turns and yoiks
into the net
as though off the crest of his locks.


sean lysaght said...


sean lysaght said...

and more applAUse!!