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English Department Zurich in Anglophone Literatures

Harry Clifton, "A Spider Dance on the Bahnhofstrasse" (1995)

Note: This poem is also included in the Switzerland in Irish Poetry project.

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Editorial Notes

  • The notion that the "indestructible bourgeois class" has won references the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1991.
  • The "Spider Dance" of the title refers to "a wilde caper enhanced in its comedic effect by wild contortions," performed by James Joyce to amuse and/or embarrass his friends (Bowker 234; see also Fischer 85-86).
  • "Flunthorn" is usually spelled differently ("Fluntern") - but rather than seeing this as a simple mistake, it can instead be regarded as a sort of homage to James Joyce's love for word creation (e.g. "gracehoppers," in Finnegans Wake).


Harry Clifton, "A Spider Dance on the Bahnhofstrasse"

Weiterführende Informationen

Zurich in Anglophone Literatures

Zurich in Anglophone Literatures


Clifton, Harry. “A Spider Dance on the Bahnhofstrasse.” Poetry 167.1/2 (1995): 35-36.

Project Editor

Martin Mühlheim

UZH English Department, Plattenstrasse 47, CH-8032 Zürich, Switzerland