Monday, October 25, 2010
Cricket Poetry – Arthur Salway’s cricket poems
Occasionally I Google ‘cricket poetry’ to see if there are other kindred spirits at work. There’s a good cricket poetry blog in
, David Fine’s Ashes Poetry http://ashespoetry.blogspot.com/ and http://www.ashespoetry.net/ Australia
I also found one arresting site in
. It’s the web site of the English poet Arthur Salway, described as “the website of cricket verse. The poet Arthur Salway shares his insight on the game…” The link is: http://www.cricketpoetry.com/ England
The author’s bio states: “Arthur is a retired mathematics teacher living in
. Now aged 71, he played his last mildly competitive match, unknowingly of course, aged 68. He remembers watching Gloucestershire at Hampshire, England as a boy and admiring the strokeplay of Walter Hammond, Charlie Barnett, George Emmett, and the emerging Tom Graveney.” Bristol
Arthur also makes a note about his reasons for writing cricket poetry:
[Arthur] sees cricket as an instance of the whole exceeding the sum of the parts and his poems seek to exploit the area of difference. They are essentially for cricketers, drawing on a knowledge of the game, its devotees, participants, and ethos.
Many of the poems were written for team evenings and are presented for your reading due to the insistence of his erstwhile team-mates. Arthur very much hopes that you will enjoy some, if not all, of them.
The website primarily contains Arthur’s cricket poetry, neat action pics of cricket matches as well as videos and games. Arthur writes well. His tools are rhyme and rhythm and he explores various facets of the game, sometimes in great depth. There is a detailed description of a team kit bag:
Our bag is green & made of canvas, strong and leather bound,
Overfilled with kit we’ve purchased, borrowed, begged or found;
Emptied out on summer evenings when it doesn’t rain,
But frankly half the stuff it holds we’ll never use again-
Worn out gloves with pimply rubber stitched up to the knuckles,
Floppy pads with leather straps & little jingly buckles,
All marked ‘
’ in pen in prominent positions, Brookfield School
And some with names of other clubs, nicked from the opposition.
Arthur’s poetry is illuminating and witty, with a wide range of poems offered. There are poems on bowling, batting, the scorebook, the cricketer’s appearance, the pavilion, the cricket field, golden moments, and reflections on the game of cricket. Here’s a favourite stanza of mine from ‘The Flick of the Wrist’:
Soccer is won with cultured feet
And rugger with grit and grist;
But when cricket is played the difference is made
By a delicate turn of the wrist.
Like David Fine's "Ashes Poetry", Salway's "Cricket Poetry" is well worth checking out.