Wednesday, May 19, 2010

tennis and poetry

I went to college with a guy who used to attend the debates and then sum up what he'd heard in rhyming couplets (composed during the event). I say, the more people are exposed to good poetry, the better. Here's a nice example of the same, courtesy of Yahoo Sports News:

WIMBLEDON, England (AP)—If Roger Federer’s performances at Wimbledon weren’t already the stuff of poetry, they certainly will be this year.

The country that gave the world Shakespeare and Wordsworth will have a “Championships Poet” at Wimbledon to write a poem a day about the Grand Slam tournament.

British comedian and poet Matt Harvey is the first bard summoned, charged with writing “on all things Wimbledon.” The All England Club said that includes everything “from umpires and racket stringers to the ball boys and ball girls; from the grass and its bounce to rain and the roof; strawberries and cream and all the unfolding drama of the matches and players.”

The raft of possible topics may well include Queen Elizabeth II, who is planning to attend June 24, her first visit to the grass-court showcase since 1977.

The poems will be made available on the Wimbledon website during the June 21-July 4 tournament and as an audio podcast read by Harvey.

Harvey, who regularly appears on British radio shows, said he was “delighted” by the assignment, “with a little bit of healthy anxiety thrown in.”

“It’s an honor,” Harvey said. “And I’m acutely conscious it’s the only time I’ll come first in anything at Wimbledon, unless you count the queue for strawberries.”

The idea of a Championships Poet came from Honor Godfrey, the curator of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. He said it will “provide a novel and interesting way” of interpreting the tournament.

“It will be fascinating to see both Matt’s take on what we see year-in year-out, and indeed the public’s reaction to the poems,” Godfrey said.

Harvey has already written his first Wimbledon poem, called “Grandest of Slams,” which is available on the website of The Poetry Trust, a British organization collaborating on the project with the All England Club.

In “Grandest of Slams,” he writes of the tournament, “Where tough tennis cookies have cracked and then crumbled in/Top seeds have stumbled, have tumbled, been humbled in/Wimbledon.”


No comments:

Post a Comment