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Game, set and poetry


Poems-on-SportWimbledon has appointed its own championship poet.

Matt Harvey will create a poem a day on “all things Wimbledon”, including ball girls and boys, the weather, strawberries and the umpires, as well as the matches and players. They will be made viewable on the Wimbledon and Poetry Trust websites, alongside audio podcasts featuring Harvey reading his own works. He will also write a blog and interact with tennis fans online, and give impromptu live performances as fans queue to enter the grounds.

There appears to be a long history of tennis poetry:

Slow Tennis: Poems, 1980-1983 by Gary Catalano
Tennis and the Meaning of Life: A Literary Anthology of the Game edited by Jay Jennings contains some tennis poetry
The Tennis Court Oath: A Book of Poems by John Ashbery
The Ballad of Worple Road – a Poetic History of the Early Wimbledon Championships by Max Robertson
Confessions of a Midweek Lady – Tall Tennis Tales by Sandy Jeffs

There are also a good number of collections of poems about Englishness and sport that contain odes to tennis. Poems on Sport edited by RM Leonard is one example.

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Richard Davies

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