Book Review: Winter/Summer Sport Poems

Month two of book club - the first meeting was fun so I figure I'll stick with it for awhile. Except we 'randomly' picked poetry for June's genre. I hate poetry. I'm just not that...deep. It took me awhile to find an acceptable book, and in the end I ended up with two! I thought maybe I'd read children's poems, or teen poetry, or something humorous, but went with sport poems with an interesting reason d'ĂȘtre behind them,

June 2013: Poetry

Winter Sport: Poems
By Priscila Uppal
118 pages

Summer Sport: Poems
By Priscila Uppal
147 pages

I love the winter Olympics. I pretty much love every sport. During that month I am glued to my tv cheering for Canada. My favourite sports are in the winter Olympics - curling and hockey, but I'll watch anything on ice or snow. Priscila Uppal was asked to be the "poet-in-residence" for Canadian Athletes Now during the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games held in Vancouver (and Arctic Games too). She tried to mesh and mingle sport and art by writing two poems a day. I figured even I could enjoy winter sport poems!

And I sort of enjoyed the book. Well, I sort of enjoyed some of the poems anyways. I found it easy to understand the content as I am familiar with most of the sports. For that reason the curling ones were cute (especially 'Curler Wanted Ad' - see below). I also thought 'Speed Skating Love Poem' was hilarious, and 'Canada Is The Hockey Ward" (both the Men's and Women's versions) were clever as she interwove athletes names into the verses. Some poems were about or for specific athletes, some about the experience of the games, but most about the sports themselves.

Uppal continued her position for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, so I figured I should read those too. I didn't enjoy this book nearly as much since I'm not a huge fan of the summer games or actually many of the sports even. She also included poems written during the Rogers Cup of Tennis, and I don't really like tennis at all. In the end, this book was pretty much lost on me.

That last sentence sums it up I guess - poetry is lost on me. I'm sure there is beauty and meaning hidden within the words, but...I just don't get it. I don't even really care for lyrics to be honest, I prefer the music and actually prefer songs that are instrumental or sung in other languages in English. In the end reading both of Uppal's sport poem books wasn't a complete waste of time, as I thought there were a few gems within, but I'd rather watch the action on tv.


Curler Want Ad
By Priscila Uppal

I'm looking for a man.
Actually, I'm looking for four:

Must know how to slide in slow-motion,
hit and roll with the punches, move from a kneeling
to standing position in seconds, play the nose slide, and be handy
with hammers and brooms.

Must be commitment driven and future-oriented.
A planner and strategize. Must be able to eye distances
think fast on your feet, and be willing to stand guard.

Will forgive lateness, as long as you hurry,
or hurry hard. Put your best foot forward.
Try not to bang heads or be distracted by
Norwegian clown pants.
Should own black gloves.
Could be bald, as long as you have MoJo.

Absolutely must not be afraid to walk on thin ice,
or to push your weight around.

To become my vice-skip, push the button.

If we decide to go our separate ways,
I promise no fights splitting the house.
It's all part of the bonspiel of life.

But let's do our best
to sweep all the sad bits under the rug
and make love from end to end to end of the earth.