The Poetry Place

Hurdler

Thursday, 24 June 2010 15:08:52

Thursday, 24 June 2010 15:08:52
So, probably near our own finishing line here, we have something that looks like this:

The hurdler hurtles down the track

His friends and foes are far behind

Rows of hurdles lie before him

Like garden fences in a line

 

And he remembers

How he used to leap

Over

the neighbours’ walls

Land

in a heap

on the other side

and

Take off

With a backward kick

And an extra flick

To fly

Over the next hedge

Over the border’s edge

And onto the last backyard in the row

 

Then he’s back

Flying down the track

The last hurdles are behind

And all that waits

Is the finishing line


     Some tidying to do - but I think it communicates what I had in mind.


Tuesday, 22 June 2010 15:34:08

Tuesday, 22 June 2010 15:34:08

And he remembers

How he used to leap

Over

the neighbours’ walls

Land

in a heap

on the other side

and

Take off

With a backward kick

And an extra flick

To fly

Over the next hedge

Over the border’s edge

And onto the last backyard in the row


Then he’s back (I've cut the preceding line - How the past returns. I think the reader can gather that.)

Flying down the track

The last hurdles are behind (added 'hurdles')

And all that waits / lies ahead

Is the finishing line


Behind and line give me a satisfying final rhyme.




Friday, 18 June 2010 11:42:31

Friday, 18 June 2010 11:42:31
I think a visual reminder of the rhythm of hurdling might work. Something like:

How he used to leap

Over

the neighbours’ walls

Land

in a heap

on the other side

and

Take off

With a backward kick

And an extra flick


to do what?  jump over a hedge...  onto the flower bed ... or a wooden fence...


To fly / jump / scramble

Over the hedge

onto the border’s edge


and then to link with the last section - back to the present.





Thursday, 17 June 2010 18:21:04

Thursday, 17 June 2010 18:21:04
Working on the middle section:

he remembers

he used to leap

Over neighbours’ walls

Land in a heap on

The other side and

Take off

With a backward kick

Uncharacteristically, I've inserted a few extra words which I feel it needs in order to stop it being too clipped (like the hedges?)

And he remembers

How he used to leap

Over the neighbours’ walls

Land in a heap

on the other side

and take off

With a backward kick


'and an extra flick' might make a nice addition.




Monday, 14 June 2010 18:23:25

Monday, 14 June 2010 18:23:25
...and then:

Over the next hedge

On to the border’s edge

And onto the last yard in the row.


Then he is brought back to the present -


How the past returns

Then he’s back

Flying down the track

The last are behind

And… (something about the finish)


which gives me a rough and ready rhyme and a bit of rhythym.


The Hurdler

Thursday, 10 June 2010 15:09:02

Thursday, 10 June 2010 15:09:02

I don't quite remember how the idea of putting the hurdler into the context of garden fence jumping came to me. But that is so often the way with ideas, isn't it?


So


he remembers

he used to leap

Over neighbours’ walls

Land in a heap on

The other side and

Take off

With a backward kick


is what I wrote down immediately to make the connection.



Monday, 7 June 2010 18:06:03

Monday, 7 June 2010 18:06:03
Back to work!

I had an idea based on seeing something about 'parkour' or 'free-running' and a story about boys who ran through gardens, leaping over people's fences.
So the sport that came to mind was not free-running but hurdling:

The hurdler hurtles down the track

His friends and foes are far behind

Rows of hurdles lie before him

Like garden fences in a line


is starting point.  Is 'hurdler hurtles' too obvious?  'Friends and foes'?  But how else to describe them. 'Competitors' is far too clumsy.  Repeat 'hurdle' in line three or not?  It's only line 4 I'm remotely happy with so far.  And how will it continue?




Poems about Sport? Are you sure?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010 11:45:43

Tuesday, 1 June 2010 11:45:43
Not known for my sporting prowess (is that a female prow?) or knowledge (when asked my favourite football team I always reply Hamilton Academicals - such a good name) I was perplexed to be asked to contribute to an anthology of poems about sport - to coincide with the Olympics. That gives you some idea of how long a book takes to get into print.

Nothing daunted, I am working on several.

A few years ago i was asked to contribute a short story to Gary Lineker's Book of Football Stories and did so, discovering that there were many ways to tell a football story from the viewpoint of the less successful participant.  And a number of footie poems followed for various Macmillan anthologies. 

So, ready, get set, go!!


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