© 2012 niall. All rights reserved.



Sometimes a word will start it, like
Hands and feet, sun and gloves. The way
Is fraught with danger, you say, and I
Notice the word “fraught”….
John Ashbery, Variant

Lawn as white as driven snow,
Cyprus black as e’er was crow,
Gloves as sweet as damask roses,
Masks for faces and for noses.
William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale


I saw her hand, she has a leathern hand,
A freestone-colored hand. I verily did think
That her old gloves were on, but ’twas her hands.
William Shakespeare, As You Like It

So, hand in glove I stake my claim
I’ll fight to the last breath
If they dare touch a hair on your head
I’ll fight to the last breath
The Smiths, Hand in Glove

Handle with kid gloves
Handle with kid gloves
Then you learn the lessons
Taught in school won’t be enough
Put on your kid gloves
Put on your kid gloves
Then you learn the lesson
That it’s cool to be so tough

Handle with kid gloves
Handle with kid gloves
Then you learn the weapons
And the ways of hard-knock school
Put on your kid gloves
Put on your kid gloves
Then you learn the lesson
That it’s tough to be so cool
Rush, Kid Gloves

Well, they sprung me out of Quentin,
I’m back on the mob’s payroll
They can buy my body
Sure they can’t buy my soul.
I’m working out of Stockton
I”m weighing in at two -o -one
But there’s a man in the front row
Sent down by the mob with a gun.
For ‘Kid Gloves’, ‘Kid Gloves’,
I’m back out on the street.
‘Kid Gloves’, the master to the beat
‘Kid Gloves’, I’ll do anything but dive.
Rory Gallagher, Kid Gloves

White gloves.

In Japan taxi drivers wear them. Politicians wear them. Women at the information desks in department stores wear them. Police officers wear them. Train drivers wear them.

In the martial arts they use gauntlets in kendo and single gloves in kyudo. In some styles of karate they use gloves in sparring.

The other day at a train station I saw an immaculately dressed man wearing black cotton gloves. He was reading a newspaper and he didn’t want to get ink on his hands.


free e-book + background poems and articles

John Ashbery, Variant

William Shakespeare, Complete Works free e-book on project gutenberg


This is a very cool blog post on Danny Choo’s blog. It’s about a high school kyudo club. Great photos.


these are all good songs but for real rock ‘n’ roll check out Rory Gallagher

The Smiths, Hand in Glove

Rush, Kid Gloves

Rory Gallagher, Kid Gloves

photo: kyudo glove by yepyep

published contemporaneously on the aikido site aikiweb

my columns on aikiweb


© niall matthews 2012


  1. niall

    Thanks Carina. Kiri Te Kanawa has a beautiful voice.

  2. Thank you Niall for this post. People also say it fits like a glove, when it is perfect like the following quote of Kiri Te Kanawa:”When I perform Strauss, it is as if the music fits me like a glove. My voice seems to lie in a happy area in this music, which is lyrical and passionate at the same time.”
    Here a video of her performing Strauss

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