Tuesday, September 18, 2018

an attraction through the years

                                                                      Attribution: Andrew Cutraro/AFP/Getty Images 
Image: The Flying Wallendas performing the seven-person
Great Pyramid in 1998, at the Shrine Circus. Two members
of the family were killed in the same arena while trying to
perform the same act 36-years-ago (fair use)

the circus came to town
a fair ring of truth to the youngsters
a clamber to see the clowns
an attraction through the years

wild animals tamed for their acts at will
never thought ringmasters were so brazen
cracking and snapping a whip for a shield
mauled or stomped on, on occasions were known

the Ringling Barnum Bailey and Wallendas
entertained for generations of clamouring outbursts
despite change of ownerships tragedies, and a Big Tent fire
final curtains last May having sustained for 146 years

in 1928 the Wallendas' inaugural with Ringling
was staged at the Madison Square Gardens
where Hank was also privileged to be attending
a circus performance there during an NYC sojourn

Sarah's at d'Verse's  -  come to the circus


  1. Welcome to the show, and thanks for sharing. The ups and downs of circus life put on display.

  2. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post Hank. Thoroughly enjoyed it.


  3. There is history there is insight and there is new perspective, Nice write Hank


  4. we don't appreciate the practice and hard work do we, this was a good reminder

  5. These have been interesting posts to read. I've read of the Wallendas....an amazing circus family. My grandmother lived in Tampa, Florida and across the street from here, lived the bearded lady from the circus. I remember seeing her when I was a little girl in the early 50s. Closest I ever came to seeing a circus as my folks took me to a circus movie when I was young....thinking it would be a fun one. I suppose there were no "reviews" or ratings in the early 50s. The movie included a scene of the circus train crashing and wild animals getting loose and I was carried out of the theatre screaming in fright. Think that's why I've never been to a circus nor taken my children or grandchildren to one. I also remember reading about the "chandelier" act in recent years passed where women hung from their long hair, high up, from what looked like a chandelier...and ... yep...one fell. Guess I've always been a Sound of Music kind of gal and prefer tap dancing with my feet on the ground :) Good write here. Got me thinking!

  6. Cool you got to see them live. It's rather sad that Ringling Barnum Bailey Circus closed down.

  7. Nice line: "a fair ring of truth to the youngsters"

  8. These were amazing acts... amazing what has been done... sounds exciting for you to have seen them.

  9. I echo was Frank said, "a fair ring of truth to the youngsters" is such a telling line. Some look back and chose to focus only on what they perceive as the bad often forgetting that the circus existed in a pre-internet era, where exposure to a rich diverse collection of acts, skills, animals, and oddities outside the everyday norm would not have been possible for many without the traveling circus!

  10. The circus sure provide much entertainment. Great that you got to see it.

  11. Like Lillian, I've found all the poems to be interesting reads. Truly an era passing into the pages of time. I enjoyed your write!

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