SJA member finds rhythm in rhyme

One of the SJA’s newest members, David Fine, from Derbyshire, was making the news today, as his latest project, an Arts Council-funded tour to Australia to cover the Ashes in poetry, was reported by The Independent.

Fine leaves for Australia – where he is to accompany the Barmy Army of England fans and write a poem for each day’s Test match play – on Sunday.

The report in the Independent reads:

As befits a sport of gentle rhythms and golden summer afternoons, cricket can boast more than its fair share of distinguished poet fans. Betjeman was inspired by the sound of leather on willow, as was A A Milne.

“Revered, beloved, O you whose job is but to serve throughout the season, To make, if so be it, a blob,” wrote A A Milne in a defiant ode to his trusty cricket bat, while A E Housman once reflected gloomily on the dawn of a new season: “Now in Maytime to the wicket, Out I march with bat and pad, See the son of grief at cricket, Trying to be glad.”

Fine will write 25 poems, one for each day’s play of the series. The poems will be published on a website set up for the project and also broadcast with a talk from the poet via the BBC website for Derby.

“Wordsworth, Tennyson, Betjeman, Housman, Chesterton and Hughes have all gone out to bat for cricket, in verse,” said Fine, who was inspired to suggest the idea to the Arts Council while listening to cricket when he was ill this year. “A line is a ball, a rhyme perhaps a wicket.”

Fine is also contributing poems to the SJA website, the first of which will be published on the site next week.

Read the rest of the Independent report by clicking here (may require registration/subscription)

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