e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the tag “Olympics”

Poetry about …

I’ve been watching the fencing part of the Olympic Women’s Modern Pentathlon. It occurred to me to see if the wonderful World Wide Web has any poems about fencing.

Of course it does. I found several, most not really worth reading, though I liked ‘Fencing: A Poem’ on the blog Tower Review. It contains a good many technical words, most of which I don’t understand, but which add to the mood of professionalism.

Of course ‘fencing’ has another meaning and thinking of this reminded me of ‘The Mending Wall‘ by one of my favourite poets, Robert Frost, in which there is the famous line about good fencing making good neighbours. Mixing the two meanings up could have some interesting neighbourly results.

A google of ‘pentathlon’ didn’t produce much but did take me to website Toto Poetry: A Poetry Dictionary, which has some very modern examples.

Finally, in honour of this summer’s weather, I googled for poems about rain – and was inundated. Quite a number of the poems were in praise of the stuff. An example is Vikram Pratap Singh’s ‘Rain, Rain, Rain’ which starts:

Rain, Rain, Rain, come again and again,

Looking at how green my garden is this year, I don’t completely disagree.


Literary Olympics

Since the Olympics are now going full blast and getting comments from all over, I thought I’d add my two pence worth and look around the web to see if there are any literary associations worth noting.

It didn’t surprise me to learn that the ancient Greeks paid poets to write in praise of their sporting events. It did surprise me that from 1912 to 1952 there was a poetry competition alongside the sporting. Details can be found on one of the Library of Congress blogs. Other arts were also included.

East Tennessee State University apparently has a course on the Olympics and gives a reading list of books and films.

There’s a website called Poetry Olympics. It doesn’t seem to have much to do with sport, but using the name ‘Olympics’ indicates that they are aiming to be the best of the best.

In relation to the current Games, there has been an online poetry game at Getset, and there has been a poetry competition for the young.

Amazon has a page devoted to Olympic books, including fiction, but none of the titles meant anything to me. I think the most famous semi-fictional treatment of the Games is probably the film Chariots of Fire – and the musical score is at least as famous as the script.

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