A blog site for the anthology, A Tingling Catch: A Century of New Zealand Cricket Poems 1864-2009 edited by Mark Pirie; foreword by Don Neely (HeadworX Publishers, Wellington, New Zealand, 2010). The blog features reviews and commentary on the book as well as New Zealand cricket poetry, reviews of New Zealand cricket books and other related material. The book's cover is by UK cricket painter Jocelyn Galsworthy.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Simon Boyce’s NZ cricket poems
One of the reasons for starting the Tingling Catch blog was to build an online archive of NZ cricket poems. Recently, I came across two cricket-related poems by Simon Boyce.
One of Simon’s poems is about his playing days (schoolboy cricket and senior club cricket) and the second poem is an elegy for a school friend and player of cricket. As the second poem only mentions ‘cricket bat’ in the last line, it may not count as a fully-fledged cricket poem but I’ll include it here for your interest. It’s a stirring elegy.
Upper Hutt editor, singer/songwriter and poet Tony Chad first published both of these poems. Tony Chad has been the long-serving editor of the Hutt Valley poetry magazine Valley Micropress since the 1990s and has organised the Upper Hutt Poetry Day readings for a number of years now. I was invited to read at two of them in 2004 and 2005. He has given many poets from New Zealand and overseas coverage during that time. I was pleased to see that Index New Zealand have fully indexed Valley Micropress. The saddle-stapled photocopied chapbook is a valuable resource for New Zealand poetry.
Here are Simon’s two poems and some biographical information:
Cricketing Capers, Old Boy
Many a time we’d be up for a contest
against the familiar Upper Hutt rivals.
But for some reason still unknown
my own form was awful away from home.
When a young UpperHuttCollege team
trekked down the valley to face us
HuttValleyHigh School fourth formers
I’d got my best ever figures (8 for not many).
On a return match after the 8-wicket haul
I bowled well for just two wickets
but my batting and fielding then got worse
against all the rival Upper Hutt colleges.
Scores of naught and four at St Pats
more ducks at Heretaunga
many matches at Whakatiki St
always featured my dropped catches.
Following a few post-school games
I retired after opening for Eastbourne
my batting average all the better
for not playing Upper Hutt anymore.
It was way back in the 1980s
and somehow I miss the contests.
But those Upper Hutt cricket old boys
also have a bit to thank me for.
(from The Poetry Olympics, ed. Tony Chad (Upper Hutt: Upper Hutt City Council, 2008)
Simon Boyce is a Wellington poet and publisher. He played club cricket briefly for Eastbourne Cricket Club. He has his own self-publishing venture, Wayside Press, in which he does very complex tomes on political history and government borrowing, with some photo-essays for light relief. He has a BA (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington and PGDip Arts and MA from MasseyUniversity, and he has just finished the Diploma in Publishing (online) at Whitireia Polytechnic. Simon also says he has ‘a very large record collection (70s rock dinosaur) and growing NZ book collection, including NZ poets Brian Turner and Bill Sewell's The Ballad of 51 [about the 1951 waterfront lockout].’