Today's the beginning of a two week extravaganza known as the Summer Olympics. It is a celebration of sports and also of poetry! The mayor of London, Boris Johnson wrote, and will recite, in both ancient Greek and English, this poem celebrating the Olympics.
Ode for the London Olympics 2012More on 2012 Olympic poetry can be read in this Huffington Post article and on the London2012 site. A New York Times article provides a more historical look at poetry and the Olympic games.
This new Olympic flame behold,
that once burned bright in Greece of old;
with happy hearts receive once more
these Games revived on London's shore.
Praise rival teams, in sport allied,
as athletes stream from far and wide;
the poet too must take the road
conveying praise to victory owed.
Millions of watchers will embrace
the passion of each close-run race,
the efforts of the rowing teams
and gymnasts balancing on beams.
They will observe with rapt delight
the archer draw his bowstring tight,
the skilful rider guide her horse,
and lightning bolt around the course.
The pipes will play, the drum resound,
as medallists are daily crowned;
the crowd's hurrah will reach the skies
when victors hoist the golden prize.
Now welcome to this sea‐girt land,
with London's Mayor and co. at hand.
Good luck to all who strive to win:
applaud, and let the Games begin!
Courtesy BBC News.
Here is a marvelous quote by Carol Ann Duffy, the British Poet Laureate, "The original Olympics involved poetry as well as sport, celebrating the wholeness of human endeavour. I think it is very good they are echoing the early spirit of the Olympics, as it would be a shame not to bring the arts into people’s focus. I think it makes us healthier, as well as our running, jumping and marvellous physical achievements, to look more internally at art, music and poetry."
Join the Poetry Friday team warming up at Life Is Better With Books. In the coming week, exercise your poetry muscles with a summer sports poem and join me back here next Friday to share.