Benjamin Zephaniah

(15 April 1958 / Birmingham)

Everybody Is Doing It


In Hawaii they Hula
They Tango in Argentina
They Reggae in Jamaica
And they Rumba down in Cuba,
In Trinidad and Tobago
They do the Calypso
And in Spain the Spanish
They really do Flamenco.

In the Punjab they Bhangra
How they dance Kathak in India
Over in Guatemala
They dance the sweet Marimba,
Even foxes dance a lot
They invented the Fox Trot,
In Australia it's true
They dance to the Didgeridoo.

In Kenya they Benga
They Highlife in Ghana
They dance Ballet all over
And Rai dance in Algeria,
They Jali in Mali
In Brazil they Samba
And the girls do Belly Dancing
In the northern parts of Africa.

Everybody does the Disco
From Baghdad to San Francisco
Many folk with razzamataz
Cannot help dancing to Jazz,
They do the Jig in Ireland
And it is really true
They still Morris dance in England
When they can find time to."

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Comments about this poem (Everybody Is Doing It by Benjamin Zephaniah )

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  • Rookie - 86 Points Martha Bayenda (3/13/2013 2:26:00 AM)

    Dance is a language we have in common the world over. Every body is doing it! It's so simple and yet very is to miss. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 86 Points Samuel Mutiga (8/21/2012 7:10:00 AM)

    nice one, the rumba, the benga, the tango...in shape with the rythm...never to miss a step (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 86 Points Ijanric Howe (7/30/2009 6:55:00 PM)

    Andrew James - Since you were reading Owen and Eliot of course this sounded like drivel. It's not pretending to be 'The Wasteland' or 'Anthem for Doomed Youth'. Just because it's not in iambic pentameter doesn't make its message any less significant. Zephaniah is demonstrating the unity of dance: something we all share and express so differently throughout the world. The poem has a great dancing pace that many of us find up lifting, and, having read a lot of his poetry, it is obvious to me that it reflects his interest in our cultural diversities that make us unique and vibrant. We're not so different, but, at the same time, we are!

    Eliot and Owen are fantastic; we all love them. But if we can't move beyond poetry that's almost a century old and learn to appreciate other forms of poetic expression, what hope is there for contemporary poets? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 86 Points Amanda Pinson (11/24/2008 8:34:00 AM)

    well personally i think the people below are obviously the shallow minded drivel that they so clearly wish to commment about, if it is so bad why take the time to make a meaningless commment?
    oh and im sorry, NOTHING TO SAY?
    it is clear that many people respect this man, and to be so petty as to say that his observations are vapid.
    maybe instead of sitting at your computer all the time you should open your eyes and see that many of these vapid observations are relevent and that many people read them,
    so please realise that if YOU do not have anything important to say could YOU not waste in your vapid assumptions that no people wish to read these poems.
    i see that ypou have a personal vendetta against B. Zephaniah, but why don't you just grow up and marvel at someone clearly superior to you (instead of writing ridiculous commments,) who doesn't have to use over expressive words to get his message across.
    yours sincerely Amanda
    x (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 86 Points Andrew James (9/29/2008 2:10:00 AM)

    I found this ridiculous drivel reading a masterpiece by Winfred Owen from the top 500 poems list. I clicked 'previous poem' and instead of a poem by T. S. Eliot that I thought was previous on the list, I was given this empty headed bit of witless trite. What galls me is that clearly no-one is reading this garbage so how is it on the top 500 list?

    Mr. Zephaniah, if you have nothing to say, then please recognize that and do not waste space with vapid observations. (Report) Reply

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