Motion by John Edgar Wideman
American Sports Poems

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Synopsis

Sports have long served as inspiration for poetry—the ancient Greeks wrote odes in praise of their athletes—so it is little surprise that in a culture as obsessed with athletes as our own sports would exert an influence on contemporary poets. Motion: American Sports Poems rescues sports from our society's focus on superstars, multimillion-dollar contracts, and gold medals to capture champions and losers, competitors and spectators in moments that are anything but fleeting.

As Noah Blaustein points out in his preface, among the many parallels made between sports and poetry is the idea of transcendence. Forged from the most basic elements of sport-energy, movement, and rhythm-the poems in this anthology reflect something universal: sport as metaphor, sport as struggle, sport as the battleground for mythic figures and local heroes.

The often celebrated sports-baseball, boxing, football, and basketball-are here along with unexpected pastimes like surfing, skateboarding, tennis, soccer, karate, rock climbing, bowling, and curling. Young and old, black and white, male and female, the poets in this anthology celebrate everyone who has come together in the shimmy and shake and sweat of sport.

Contributors include: Diane Ackerman, Sherman Alexie, Agha Shahid Ali, Marvin Bell, Elizabeth Bishop, Hayden Carruth, Raymond Carver, James Dickey, Cornelius Eady, James Galvin, Louise Glíck, Thom Gunn, Paul Hoover, Randall Jarrell, Carolyn Kizer, Yusef Komunyakaa, Maxine Kumin, Thomas Lux, Christopher Merrill,Stanley Plumley, Carl Sandburg, Gary Soto, David St. John, Richard Wilbur, and James Wright.

 

About John Edgar Wideman

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Blaustein is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts MFA program.
 
Published April 1, 2001 by University Of Iowa Press. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Motion

Publishers Weekly

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Editor and poet Noah Blaustein (who includes his ""Water & Light"": ""It was too soon/ To think of her passing,/ So I passed/ Evenings in the water"") gathers a mostly masculine cheering section of 100 poets James Tate, James Wright, James Haug, James McKean and James Galvin among them.

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ForeWord Reviews

Cheap, hot, addictive, immediate, sport provides a reductive mirror for life.” But at its best, these poems suggest, sport-like poetry-offers experience that is not merely reduced but also heightened and clarified, complete within itself even though not a complete representation of life.

Aug 16 2001 | Read Full Review of Motion: American Sports Poems

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