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Tennis poetry

Wimbledon has appointed the marvellous Matt Harvey as its official poet. Story here:

I'm already excited about the World Cup and Wimbledon, and this is the icing on the cake. Here's his first poem. I saw Harvey live in Edinburgh several years ago and I think it may work best if one can hear the cadences of his voice. Try reading it out.

Grandest of Slams

Excuse me. Iím sorry. I speak as an Englishman
For the game of lawn tennis thereís no better symbol than
The place where the gameís flame was sparked and then kindled in
Where so many spines have sat straight and then tingled in
Where strawberries and cream have traditionally been sampled in
Kidsí eyes have lit up and their cheeks have been dimpled in
Where tough tennis cookies have cracked and then crumbled in
Top seeds have stumbled, have tumbled, been humbled in
Where home-grown heroesí hopes have swelled up and then dwindled in
The Grand Slamsí best of breed, itís the whizz itís the biz
The temple where physics expresses its fizz
Thereís one word for tennis and that one word is

Well, Gareth, for the next week or two tennis is two words and that is Roland Garros!

Cheers, Caro.

(In 1980 with our then three-year-old - now soon to be a father! - we stayed in Wimbledom for a month, but were home before the tennis.)

Gareth there is more on Matt Harvey here

and a link to Matt's 'Wimblewords' Cool

Thanks, county lady. I find Matt Harvey's poems good to variable, and occasionally very good, but I think (as I mentioned earlier) that they're best read out loud, and especially read by the poet himself. I read the BBC piece earlier today. It captures his idiosyncrasies very well.

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