Poetry and Sport

Film has "Bend it like Beckham", prose has "The loneliness of the long-distance runner". Camus was an excellent football player and Beckett loved cricket. But where are the sport poems? Initiatives like the Center for Sports Poetry aim to encourage children (especially boys) to write poetry by writing about something that interests them, but what about adult poets? I've found little of value. Here are a few places to start looking In the UK football attracts the majority of poets' attention with several clubs having poet laureates. Recently the poet laureate Andrew Motion (an Arsenal fan) helped judge a Football Chants competition. Jonny Hurst, a 37-year-old Birmingham City fan beat over 1,500 contenders. Andrew Motion was joined on the judging panel by Barnsley FC poet in residence Ian McMillan, football commentator Stuart Hall, Chris Moyles and Comedy Dave from BBC Radio 1, and Nic Gault of Barclaycard.

The sponsors Barclaycard insist that football chanting is a modern day art form, and that chants have "moved on enormously from the 60s and 70s and are increasingly more melodic, intelligent and humorous in content". See http://www.footballchants.org for examples.

See Also


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Updated December 2008
Tim Love
(with help from HN)