So blue my hills, so misty blue,
So tender sweet the skies above,
So old my hills, so ever new,
So rich with life this land I love.
Here on its warm breast let me lie,
By hex-starred barns and ancient mills,
Where distant heaven bends close by—
Here in my everlasting hills!*
First, a little info on the so-called Pennsylvania Dutch:
Okay, then, here are some examples of PA Dutch barn stars, a form of folk-art associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch people:
This is the cover to a wonderfully illustrated and thoroughly detailed work on the subject of Pennsylvania Dutch barn stars:
I own this book, have met its millennial author on several occasions and witnessed him deliver a handful speeches on this form of folk-art (as well as others), and have attended a lecture given by one of the world’s foremost folk scholars on American folk culture in general, and on the history and folkways of the Pennsylvania Germans in particular, Dr. Don Yoder, the man who penned the foreword to Patrick’s work. I personally recommend purchasing this book if the topic intrigues you even only slightly. I find the subject matter as elucidated by Patrick to be highly intriguing and this publication is one of my literary treasures (in the literal sense of owning it in book format, due to both the visual content as well as the subject matter). I am, of course, biased, not because I met the guy a few times, but because of my own PA German (or “Dutch”) ancestral heritage. The book costs $30 and the money goes to support the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University which focuses on preserving the history and heritage of the Pennsylvania German people: Volume II of the Annual Publication Series for 2013
Found here, http://www.thehexfactory.com, the following images reveal Hunter M. Yoder’s (if not closely related to Don Yoder, then almost for certain distantly related based on birthplaces and last name) heathen take on this particular art form. Some are faithful to the more traditional motifs found in the region while others incorporate pagan symbolism and imagery. [It should be noted, however, that the swastika itself, for instance, while although a traditional motif in PA Dutch barn stars, has pre-christian, European pagan origins]:
I hope you enjoyed!
*Ann Clark’s 1952 poem “Blue Hills and Shoofly Pie”.
**This publication is also available for purchase at these locations: