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  #21  
Unread 01-30-2021, 10:51 AM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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Body and Soul has been my favorite sports poem since I heard BH Fairchild recite it at West Chester almost twenty years ago. Fairchild was a great reader as well as a terrific poet, and his Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas timbre is perfect for the poem.
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  #22  
Unread 01-30-2021, 11:02 AM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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From Mad Magazine. Early to mid-'70s, I think. Part of a series of poems, one for each baseball position. I wish I knew who wrote it.

The Shortstop

We marvel at the Shortstop's art.
Just see him swerve and lunge and dart.
Of course, to some, this makes no sense
Because the ball's just cleared the fence,
But in the field, the shortstop knows
That he must put on fancy shows.
How else can he make you and me
Forget he's batting .203?
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  #23  
Unread 01-30-2021, 11:48 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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I thought of this Longfellow parody because the Farmer's Insurance Open is in town at Torrey Pines right now.

The Ball and the Club
by Forbes Lindsay

I shot a golf ball into the air;
It fell toward earth, I knew not where;
For who hath eye so strong and keen,
As to follow the flight of my ball to the green.

I lost a club I could not spare,
And searched for it most everywhere;
For who hath sight so keen and quick
As to trace the course of a missing stick.

Long, long afterwards, in an oak,
I found the golf ball, still unbroke;
And the club - with a couple of nicks and a bend,
I found again in the bag of a friend.


And another parody:

Winter Trees
by Conrad Diekmann

I think that I shall never ski
Again against so stout a tree.

A tree whose rugged bark is pressed
In bas-relief upon my chest.

A tree that with bacchantic air
Wears ski poles in its tangled hair.

I've learned my lesson: Fools like me
Should never try to shave a tree.


More serious: a poem about two increasingly minor sports--squash, and "another, harder game":

Civilities
by Thomas Whitebread

     The delicate corner shot,
Slicing the strings precise across the ball
at the right time, so that it lightly hits
          On one side wall,
     Kisses the front, then falls
Quick-dying down, most irretrievable,

     Is difficult to do
Unless a calm, an inner certainty
Comes to you softly in the midst of war,
          Setting you free
     From the slam-bang desire
To smash it hard no matter where. To be

     So deftly sure, so wise,
Wins points in squash. In another, harder game,
Word-play, a similar civility
          May equally tame
     Peaceless desires, and make
Your opponent yours by a nicety of name.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 01-30-2021 at 12:01 PM.
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  #24  
Unread 01-30-2021, 12:14 PM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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Bob McKenty writes lots of great light verse about sports.

from the anthology Kiss and Part:

Derrière Pensée

Jets star Mark Gastineau and actress Brigitte Nielsen announced yesterday there were engaged--and confirmed they have each other's name [sic] tattooed on their posteriors.
--New York Post, August 13, 1988


That Brigitte worships Gastineau
You need but read her astineau.

But when they have a fight next week
I bet she'll turn the other cheek.

*

from Fair Game: Open Season on Baseball:

The Third-Base Coach

His loins are girt; his teeth are grit;
His jock itch he'll conceal.
(He knows that if he scratches it
He'll start a double steal.)
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  #25  
Unread 01-30-2021, 12:44 PM
E. Shaun Russell E. Shaun Russell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Crocker View Post
Not, I think, forgotten. Still, indeed, loved. He was poet laureate until his death in 1984. Did you ever hear him read to the accompaniment of Jim Parker's arrangements. Definitely delightful.

Yes, my comment was probably rather Ameri-centric, and therefore an overgeneralization...though it's staggering (to me) how many poetically-minded people I've mentioned Betjeman to have no idea who he is. Including at least one state poet laureate. Betjeman is one of my favorites, but he doesn't show up in a lot of anthologies here either.
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  #26  
Unread 01-30-2021, 02:12 PM
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Kevin Rainbow Kevin Rainbow is offline
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Probably the longest, richest, most epic descriptions are those of jousting.
These are small parts from much larger descriptive passages :

"In fair Damascus thus the list appears
All bright with breast-plates, helms and bristled spears.
Soft blooming damsels on the champions shower
From roofs and windows every vernal flower;
Each knightly rival to the trumpet's sound
His courser spurs with many a sprightly bound,
All prove their best - some merit gifts and praise,
And some loud peals of scorn and laughter raise.
A suit of armour doom'd the victor's prize,
For that days jousts the Syrian king supplies:
Who late receiv'd it at a merchant's hand,
A merchant journeying from Armenia's land (...)
But let us now (this tale a while dismiss'd)
To Gryphon turn, who when he reach'd the list,
Already found the manly jousts begun,
Spears broke, and falchions flashing in the sun.
Eight youthful knights by Norandino held
Near to his person, who in arms excell'd,
In friendly league 'gainst all opponents stood,
Nobles themselves, and sprung of noble blood:
These in the martial square that day had run
With all the listed warriors, one by one:
With lance, with sword or mace they wag'd the fight,
While the king view'd, and view'd them with delight.
Oft through the cuirass, in th' unpleasant strife,
The weapon pass'd endangering either's life:
Like foes they fought, but that the king could stay
At will their rage and bid surcease the fray."

(The tourney in Damascus in Book XVII of Orlando Furioso, here translated by John Hoole)



"They all agreed: so turning all to game,
And pleasaunt bord, they past forth on their way,
And all that while, where so they rode or came,
That masked Mock-knight was their sport and play.
Till that at length vpon th'appointed day,
Vnto the place of turneyment they came;
Where they before them found in fresh aray
Manie a braue knight, and manie a daintie dame
Assembled, for to get the honour of that game.
(...)
Then tooke the bold Sir Satyrane in hand
An huge great speare, such as he wont to wield,
And vauncing forth from all the other band
Of knights, addrest his maiden-headed shield,
Shewing him selfe all ready for the field.
Gainst whom there singled from the other side
A Painim knight, that well in armes was skild,
And had in many a battell oft bene tride,
Hight Bruncheual the bold, who fiersly forth did ride.

So furiously they both together met,
That neither could the others force sustaine;
As two fierce Buls, that striue the rule to get
Of all the heard, meete with so hideous maine,
That both rebutted, tumble on the plaine:
So these two champions to the ground were feld,
Where in a maze they both did long remaine,
And in their hands their idle troncheons held,
Which neither able were to wag, or once to weld."



(Satyrane's tournament in Book IV of The Faerie Queene.)
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  #27  
Unread 01-30-2021, 03:20 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Analysis of Baseball
BY MAY SWENSON

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poe...is-of-baseball

Last edited by Martin Elster; 01-30-2021 at 05:11 PM.
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  #28  
Unread 01-30-2021, 03:40 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Cried the Lip

Cried the lip that is known as Durocher:
“Just to lose, man, there’s nothing that’s gaucher,
**But to lose to the Mets—
**Call the men with the nets:
It’s a gyp, it’s a steal, it’s not kosher!”

—Wallace Carroll

Last edited by Martin Elster; 01-30-2021 at 05:11 PM.
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  #29  
Unread 01-30-2021, 07:25 PM
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Kevin Rainbow Kevin Rainbow is offline
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Guy of Warwick at the tourney in Normandy:
https://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/cme/ANZ...;view=fulltext
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  #30  
Unread 01-31-2021, 08:39 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Sporty People
by Wendy Cope

I took her for my kind of person
And it was something of a shock
When my new friend revealed
That, once upon a time,
She was a Junior County Tennis Champion.

How could that happen?
How could I accidentally
Make friends with a tennis champion?
How could a tennis champion

Make friends with me?

She wasn’t stupid. She read books.
She had never been mean to me
For being bad at games.
I decided to forgive
Her unfortunate past.

Sporty people can be OK –
Of course they can.
Later on, I met poets
Who played football. It’s still hard
To get my head round that.
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