Marie Osmond Does Hugo Ball?


How strange would it be if our Mormon pop icon started reciting, by heart, a German Dadaist’s ‘nonsense’ verse?

“Marie Osmond became co-host with Jack Palance. In the format of the show, little topic clusters (like ‘weird language’) were introduced by one of the hosts. In this case, the frame was Cabaret Voltaire. Marie was required to read Hugo Ball’s sound poem ‘Karawane’ and a few script lines. Much to everybody’s astonishment, when they started filming she abruptly looked away from the cue cards directly into the camera and recited, by memory, ‘Karawane.’ It blew everybody away …” (con’t at UBU Web).

Listen to the actual recitation, done with feeling, here. (Thanks to Lara Glenum for the heads up.)



“Hugo Ball was born in Pirmasens, Germany and was raised in a Catholic family. He studied sociology and philosophy at the universities of Munich and Heidelberg (1906–1907). In 1910, he moved to Berlin in order to become an actor and collaborated with Max Reinhardt. He was one of the leading Dada artists. He created the Dada Manifesto in 1916, making a political statement about his views on the terrible state of society and acknowledging his dislike for philosophies in the past claiming to possess the ultimate Truth. The same year as the Manifesto, in 1916, Ball wrote his poem ‘Karawane,’ which is a German poem consisting of nonsensical words. The meaning however resides in its meaninglessness, reflecting the chief principle behind Dadaism.” — from Wikipedia


“[Marie Osmond] has launched a personal crusade to clean up the Internet after learning her two teenage daughters have been posting explicit correspondence on their websites. She felt compelled to give a statement to US tabloid National Enquirer after the publication uncovered outrageous content on her daughters blogs. In her statement, shocked Marie, a devout Mormon, says, ‘I am saddened by some of the choices that two of our children have made. The insidious potential for harm from adolescent Internet sites like only exacerbates these kinds of problems.’” –from Wikipedia

The stuff of a surprise Hugo Ball aficionado?


One Response to “Marie Osmond Does Hugo Ball?”

  1. Jim K. Says:
    July 8th, 2007 at 3:29 am eHumans are a peculiar lot.
    I suspect the true Dada backstory would be dull.
    Maybe memorized for voice lessons, or for a skit.
    Something banal.

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AMY KING View All →

Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

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