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Best Famous Sports Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Sports poems. This is a select list of the best famous Sports poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Sports poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of sports poems.

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Written by Michael Ondaatje |

To A Sad Daughter

 All night long the hockey pictures
gaze down at you
sleeping in your tracksuit.
Belligerent goalies are your ideal.
Threats of being traded cuts and wounds --all this pleases you.
O my god! you say at breakfast reading the sports page over the Alpen as another player breaks his ankle or assaults the coach.
When I thought of daughters I wasn't expecting this but I like this more.
I like all your faults even your purple moods when you retreat from everyone to sit in bed under a quilt.
And when I say 'like' I mean of course 'love' but that embarrasses you.
You who feel superior to black and white movies (coaxed for hours to see Casablanca) though you were moved by Creature from the Black Lagoon.
One day I'll come swimming beside your ship or someone will and if you hear the siren listen to it.
For if you close your ears only nothing happens.
You will never change.
I don't care if you risk your life to angry goalies creatures with webbed feet.
You can enter their caves and castles their glass laboratories.
Just don't be fooled by anyone but yourself.
This is the first lecture I've given you.
You're 'sweet sixteen' you said.
I'd rather be your closest friend than your father.
I'm not good at advice you know that, but ride the ceremonies until they grow dark.
Sometimes you are so busy discovering your friends I ache with loss --but that is greed.
And sometimes I've gone into my purple world and lost you.
One afternoon I stepped into your room.
You were sitting at the desk where I now write this.
Forsythia outside the window and sun spilled over you like a thick yellow miracle as if another planet was coaxing you out of the house --all those possible worlds!-- and you, meanwhile, busy with mathematics.
I cannot look at forsythia now without loss, or joy for you.
You step delicately into the wild world and your real prize will be the frantic search.
Want everything.
If you break break going out not in.
How you live your life I don't care but I'll sell my arms for you, hold your secrets forever.
If I speak of death which you fear now, greatly, it is without answers.
except that each one we know is in our blood.
Don't recall graves.
Memory is permanent.
Remember the afternoon's yellow suburban annunciation.
Your goalie in his frightening mask dreams perhaps of gentleness.

Written by William Blake |

Love and Harmony

 Love and harmony combine,
And round our souls entwine
While thy branches mix with mine,
And our roots together join.
Joys upon our branches sit, Chirping loud and singing sweet; Like gentle streams beneath our feet Innocence and virtue meet.
Thou the golden fruit dost bear, I am clad in flowers fair; Thy sweet boughs perfume the air, And the turtle buildeth there.
There she sits and feeds her young, Sweet I hear her mournful song; And thy lovely leaves among, There is love, I hear his tongue.
There his charming nest doth lay, There he sleeps the night away; There he sports along the day, And doth among our branches play.

Written by Marge Piercy |

What Are Big Girls Made Of?

 The construction of a woman:
a woman is not made of flesh 
of bone and sinew 
belly and breasts, elbows and liver and toe.
She is manufactured like a sports sedan.
She is retooled, refitted and redesigned every decade.
Cecile had been seduction itself in college.
She wriggled through bars like a satin eel, her hips and ass promising, her mouth pursed in the dark red lipstick of desire.
She visited in '68 still wearing skirts tight to the knees, dark red lipstick, while I danced through Manhattan in mini skirt, lipstick pale as apricot milk, hair loose as a horse's mane.
Oh dear, I thought in my superiority of the moment, whatever has happened to poor Cecile? She was out of fashion, out of the game, disqualified, disdained, dis- membered from the club of desire.
Look at pictures in French fashion magazines of the 18th century: century of the ultimate lady fantasy wrought of silk and corseting.
Paniers bring her hips out three feet each way, while the waist is pinched and the belly flattened under wood.
The breasts are stuffed up and out offered like apples in a bowl.
The tiny foot is encased in a slipper never meant for walking.
On top is a grandiose headache: hair like a museum piece, daily ornamented with ribbons, vases, grottoes, mountains, frigates in full sail, balloons, baboons, the fancy of a hairdresser turned loose.
The hats were rococo wedding cakes that would dim the Las Vegas strip.
Here is a woman forced into shape rigid exoskeleton torturing flesh: a woman made of pain.
How superior we are now: see the modern woman thin as a blade of scissors.
She runs on a treadmill every morning, fits herself into machines of weights and pulleys to heave and grunt, an image in her mind she can never approximate, a body of rosy glass that never wrinkles, never grows, never fades.
She sits at the table closing her eyes to food hungry, always hungry: a woman made of pain.
A cat or dog approaches another, they sniff noses.
They sniff asses.
They bristle or lick.
They fall in love as often as we do, as passionately.
But they fall in love or lust with furry flesh, not hoop skirts or push up bras rib removal or liposuction.
It is not for male or female dogs that poodles are clipped to topiary hedges.
If only we could like each other raw.
If only we could love ourselves like healthy babies burbling in our arms.
If only we were not programmed and reprogrammed to need what is sold us.
Why should we want to live inside ads? Why should we want to scourge our softness to straight lines like a Mondrian painting? Why should we punish each other with scorn as if to have a large ass were worse than being greedy or mean? When will women not be compelled to view their bodies as science projects, gardens to be weeded, dogs to be trained? When will a woman cease to be made of pain?

More great poems below...

Written by Robert Herrick |

THE COUNTRY LIFE:

 TO THE HONOURED MR ENDYMION PORTER, GROOM OF
THE BED-CHAMBER TO HIS MAJESTY

Sweet country life, to such unknown,
Whose lives are others', not their own!
But serving courts and cities, be
Less happy, less enjoying thee.
Thou never plough'st the ocean's foam To seek and bring rough pepper home: Nor to the Eastern Ind dost rove To bring from thence the scorched clove: Nor, with the loss of thy loved rest, Bring'st home the ingot from the West.
No, thy ambition's master-piece Flies no thought higher than a fleece: Or how to pay thy hinds, and clear All scores: and so to end the year: But walk'st about thine own dear bounds, Not envying others' larger grounds: For well thou know'st, 'tis not th' extent Of land makes life, but sweet content.
When now the cock (the ploughman's horn) Calls forth the lily-wristed morn; Then to thy corn-fields thou dost go, Which though well soil'd, yet thou dost know That the best compost for the lands Is the wise master's feet, and hands.
There at the plough thou find'st thy team, With a hind whistling there to them: And cheer'st them up, by singing how The kingdom's portion is the plough.
This done, then to th' enamell'd meads Thou go'st; and as thy foot there treads, Thou seest a present God-like power Imprinted in each herb and flower: And smell'st the breath of great-eyed kine, Sweet as the blossoms of the vine.
Here thou behold'st thy large sleek neat Unto the dew-laps up in meat: And, as thou look'st, the wanton steer, The heifer, cow, and ox draw near, To make a pleasing pastime there.
These seen, thou go'st to view thy flocks Of sheep, safe from the wolf and fox, And find'st their bellies there as full Of short sweet grass, as backs with wool: And leav'st them, as they feed and fill, A shepherd piping on a hill.
For sports, for pageantry, and plays, Thou hast thy eves, and holydays: On which the young men and maids meet, To exercise their dancing feet: Tripping the comely country Round, With daffadils and daisies crown'd.
Thy wakes, thy quintels, here thou hast, Thy May-poles too with garlands graced; Thy Morris-dance; thy Whitsun-ale; Thy shearing-feast, which never fail.
Thy harvest home; thy wassail bowl, That's toss'd up after Fox i' th' hole: Thy mummeries; thy Twelve-tide kings And queens; thy Christmas revellings: Thy nut-brown mirth, thy russet wit, And no man pays too dear for it.
-- To these, thou hast thy times to go And trace the hare i' th' treacherous snow: Thy witty wiles to draw, and get The lark into the trammel net: Thou hast thy cockrood, and thy glade To take the precious pheasant made: Thy lime-twigs, snares, and pit-falls then To catch the pilfering birds, not men.
--O happy life! if that their good The husbandmen but understood! Who all the day themselves do please, And younglings, with such sports as these: And lying down, have nought t' affright Sweet Sleep, that makes more short the night.
CAETERA DESUNT--

Written by Walt Whitman |

Miracles.

 WHY! who makes much of a miracle? 
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, 
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, 
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, 
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods, 
Or talk by day with any one I love—or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, 
Or sit at table at dinner with my mother, 
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, 
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields, 
Or birds—or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, 
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down—or of stars shining so quiet and bright, 
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring; 
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best—mechanics, boatmen,
 farmers,
Or among the savans—or to the soiree—or to the opera, 
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery, 
Or behold children at their sports, 
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman, 
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial,
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass; 
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, 
The whole referring—yet each distinct, and in its place.
To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every cubic inch of space is a miracle, Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, Every foot of the interior swarms with the same; Every spear of grass—the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them, All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.
To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?

Written by Roger McGough |

Let Me Die a Youngmans Death

 Let me die a youngman's death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I'm 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I'm 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber's chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I'm 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman's death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
'what a nice way to go' death

Written by Philip Levine |

The Dead

 A good man is seized by the police
and spirited away.
Months later someone brags that he shot him once through the back of the head with a Walther 7.
65, and his life ended just there.
Those who loved him go on searching the cafés in the Barrio Chino or the bars near the harbor.
A comrade swears he saw him at a distance buying two kilos of oranges in the market of San José and called out, "Andrés, Andrés," but instead of turning to a man he'd known since child- hood and opening his great arms wide, he scurried off, the oranges tumbling out of the damp sack, one after another, a short bright trail left on the sidewalk to say, Farewell! Farewell to what? I ask.
I asked then and I ask now.
I first heard the story fifty years ago; it became part of the mythology I hauled with me from one graveyard to another, this belief in the power of my yearning.
The dead are every- where, crowding the narrow streets that jut out from the wide boulevard on which we take our morning walk.
They stand in the cold shadows of men and women come to sell themselves to anyone, they stride along beside me and stop when I stop to admire the bright garlands or the little pyramids of fruit, they reach a hand out to give money or to take change, they say "Good morning" or "Thank you," they turn with me and retrace my steps back to the bare little room I've come to call home.
Patiently, they stand beside me staring out over the soiled roofs of the world until the light fades and we are all one or no one.
They ask for so little, a prayer now and then, a toast to their health which is our health, a few lies no one reads incised on a dull plaque between a pharmacy and a sports store, the least little daily miracle.

Written by Robert Southey |

On The Death Of A Favourite Old Spaniel

 And they have drown'd thee then at last! poor Phillis!
The burthen of old age was heavy on thee.
And yet thou should'st have lived! what tho' thine eye Was dim, and watch'd no more with eager joy The wonted call that on thy dull sense sunk With fruitless repetition, the warm Sun Would still have cheer'd thy slumber, thou didst love To lick the hand that fed thee, and tho' past Youth's active season, even Life itself Was comfort.
Poor old friend! most earnestly Would I have pleaded for thee: thou hadst been Still the companion of my childish sports, And, as I roam'd o'er Avon's woody clifts, From many a day-dream has thy short quick bark Recall'd my wandering soul.
I have beguil'd Often the melancholy hours at school, Sour'd by some little tyrant, with the thought Of distant home, and I remember'd then Thy faithful fondness: for not mean the joy, Returning at the pleasant holydays, I felt from thy dumb welcome.
Pensively Sometimes have I remark'd thy slow decay, Feeling myself changed too, and musing much On many a sad vicissitude of Life! Ah poor companion! when thou followedst last Thy master's parting footsteps to the gate That clos'd for ever on him, thou didst lose Thy truest friend, and none was left to plead For the old age of brute fidelity! But fare thee well! mine is no narrow creed, And HE who gave thee being did not frame The mystery of life to be the sport Of merciless man! there is another world For all that live and move--a better one! Where the proud bipeds, who would fain confine INFINITE GOODNESS to the little bounds Of their own charity, may envy thee!

Written by Friedrich von Schiller |

The Dance

 See how, like lightest waves at play, the airy dancers fleet;
And scarcely feels the floor the wings of those harmonious feet.
Ob, are they flying shadows from their native forms set free? Or phantoms in the fairy ring that summer moonbeams see? As, by the gentle zephyr blown, some light mist flees in air, As skiffs that skim adown the tide, when silver waves are fair, So sports the docile footstep to the heave of that sweet measure, As music wafts the form aloft at its melodious pleasure, Now breaking through the woven chain of the entangled dance, From where the ranks the thickest press, a bolder pair advance, The path they leave behind them lost--wide open the path beyond, The way unfolds or closes up as by a magic wand.
See now, they vanish from the gaze in wild confusion blended; All, in sweet chaos whirled again, that gentle world is ended! No!--disentangled glides the knot, the gay disorder ranges-- The only system ruling here, a grace that ever changes.
For ay destroyed--for ay renewed, whirls on that fair creation; And yet one peaceful law can still pervade in each mutation.
And what can to the reeling maze breathe harmony and vigor, And give an order and repose to every gliding figure? That each a ruler to himself doth but himself obey, Yet through the hurrying course still keeps his own appointed way.
What, would'st thou know? It is in truth the mighty power of tune, A power that every step obeys, as tides obey the moon; That threadeth with a golden clue the intricate employment, Curbs bounding strength to tranquil grace, and tames the wild enjoyment.
And comes the world's wide harmony in vain upon thine ears? The stream of music borne aloft from yonder choral spheres? And feel'st thou not the measure which eternal Nature keeps? The whirling dance forever held in yonder azure deeps? The suns that wheel in varying maze?--That music thou discernest? No! Thou canst honor that in sport which thou forgettest in earnest.

Written by William Blake |

An Imitation of Spenser

 Thou fair hair'd angel of the evening,
Now, while the sun rests on the mountains light,
Thy bright torch of love; Thy radiant crown
Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!
Smile on our loves; and when thou drawest the 
Blue curtains, scatter thy silver dew
On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes
In timely sleep.
Let thy west wind sleep on The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes And wash the dusk with silver.
Soon, full, soon, Dost thou withdraw; Then, the wolf rages wide, And the lion glares thro' the dun forest.
The fleece of our flocks are covered with Thy sacred dew; Protect them with thine influence.
Golden Apollo, that thro' heaven wide Scatter'st the rays of light, and truth's beams, In lucent words my darkling verses dight, And wash my earthy mind in thy clear streams, That wisdom may descend in fairy dreams, All while the jocund hours in thy train Scatter their fancies at thy poet's feet; And when thou yields to night thy wide domain, Let rays of truth enlight his sleeping brain.
For brutish Pan in vain might thee assay With tinkling sounds to dash thy nervous verse, Sound without sense; yet in his rude affray, (For ignorance is Folly's leasing nurse And love of Folly needs none other's curse) Midas the praise hath gain'd of lengthen'd ears, For which himself might deem him ne'er the worse To sit in council with his modern peers, And judge of tinkling rimes and elegances terse.
And thou, Mercurius, that with wing?d brow Dost mount aloft into the yielding sky, And thro' Heav'n's halls thy airy flight dost throw, Entering with holy feet to where on high Jove weighs the counsel of futurity; Then, laden with eternal fate, dost go Down, like a falling star, from autumn sky, And o'er the surface of the silent deep dost fly: If thou arrivest at the sandy shore Where nought but envious hissing adders dwell, Thy golden rod, thrown on t 1000 he dusty floor, Can charm to harmony with potent spell.
Such is sweet Eloquence, that does dispel Envy and Hate that thirst for human gore; And cause in sweet society to dwell Vile savage minds that lurk in lonely cell O Mercury, assist my lab'ring sense That round the circle of the world would fly, As the wing'd eagle scorns the tow'ry fence Of Alpine hills round his high a?ry, And searches thro' the corners of the sky, Sports in the clouds to hear the thunder's sound, And see the wing?d lightnings as they fly; Then, bosom'd in an amber cloud, around Plumes his wide wings, and seeks Sol's palace high.
And thou, O warrior maid invincible, Arm'd with the terrors of Almighty Jove, Pallas, Minerva, maiden terrible, Lov'st thou to walk the peaceful solemn grove, In solemn gloom of branches interwove? Or bear'st thy AEgis o'er the burning field, Where, like the sea, the waves of battle move? Or have thy soft piteous eyes beheld The weary wanderer thro' the desert rove? Or does th' afflicted man thy heav'nly bosom move?

Written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe |

SELF-DECEIT.

 My neighbour's curtain, well I see,

Is moving to and fin.
No doubt she's list'ning eagerly, If I'm at home or no.
And if the jealous grudge I bore And openly confess'd, Is nourish'd by me as before, Within my inmost breast.
Alas! no fancies such as these E'er cross'd the dear child's thoughts.
I see 'tis but the ev'ning breeze That with the curtain sports.
1803.

Written by Donald Hall |

An old life

 Snow fell in the night.
At five-fifteen I woke to a bluish mounded softness where the Honda was.
Cat fed and coffee made, I broomed snow off the car and drove to the Kearsarge Mini-Mart before Amy opened to yank my Globe out of the bundle.
Back, I set my cup of coffee beside Jane, still half-asleep, murmuring stuporous thanks in the aquamarine morning.
Then I sat in my blue chair with blueberry bagels and strong black coffee reading news, the obits, the comics, and the sports.
Carrying my cup twenty feet, I sat myself at the desk for this day's lifelong engagement with the one task and desire.

Written by Walt Whitman |

Assurances.

 I NEED no assurances—I am a man who is preoccupied, of his own Soul; 
I do not doubt that from under the feet, and beside the hands and face I am cognizant of,
 are
 now looking faces I am not cognizant of—calm and actual faces; 
I do not doubt but the majesty and beauty of the world are latent in any iota of the
 world; 
I do not doubt I am limitless, and that the universes are limitless—in vain I try to
 think
 how limitless; 
I do not doubt that the orbs, and the systems of orbs, play their swift sports through the
 air
 on purpose—and that I shall one day be eligible to do as much as they, and more than
 they;
I do not doubt that temporary affairs keep on and on, millions of years; 
I do not doubt interiors have their interiors, and exteriors have their exteriors—and
 that
 the eye-sight has another eye-sight, and the hearing another hearing, and the voice
 another
 voice; 
I do not doubt that the passionately-wept deaths of young men are provided for—and
 that
 the deaths of young women, and the deaths of little children, are provided for; 
(Did you think Life was so well provided for—and Death, the purport of all Life, is
 not
 well provided for?) 
I do not doubt that wrecks at sea, no matter what the horrors of them—no matter whose
 wife, child, husband, father, lover, has gone down, are provided for, to the minutest
 points;
I do not doubt that whatever can possibly happen, any where, at any time, is provided for,
 in
 the inherences of things; 
I do not think Life provides for all, and for Time and Space—but I believe Heavenly
 Death
 provides for all.

Written by John Betjeman |

A Subalterns Love Song

 Miss J.
Hunter Dunn, Miss J.
Hunter Dunn, Furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun, What strenuous singles we played after tea, We in the tournament - you against me! Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy, The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy, With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won, I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won, The warm-handled racket is back in its press, But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.
Her father's euonymus shines as we walk, And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk, And cool the verandah that welcomes us in To the six-o'clock news and a lime-juice and gin.
The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath, The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path, As I struggle with double-end evening tie, For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.
On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts, And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with sports, And westering, questioning settles the sun, On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.
The Hillman is waiting, the light's in the hall, The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall, My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair And there on the landing's the light on your hair.
By roads "not adopted", by woodlanded ways, She drove to the club in the late summer haze, Into nine-o'clock Camberley, heavy with bells And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.
Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, I can hear from the car park the dance has begun, Oh! Surry twilight! importunate band! Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl's hand! Around us are Rovers and Austins afar, Above us the intimate roof of the car, And here on my right is the girl of my choice, With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.
And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said, And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
We sat in the car park till twenty to one And now I'm engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

Written by Robert Southey |

Ode Written On The First Of January

 Come melancholy Moralizer--come!
Gather with me the dark and wintry wreath;
With me engarland now
The SEPULCHRE OF TIME!

Come Moralizer to the funeral song!
I pour the dirge of the Departed Days,
For well the funeral song
Befits this solemn hour.
But hark! even now the merry bells ring round With clamorous joy to welcome in this day, This consecrated day, To Mirth and Indolence.
Mortal! whilst Fortune with benignant hand Fills to the brim thy cup of happiness, Whilst her unclouded sun Illumes thy summer day, Canst thou rejoice--rejoice that Time flies fast? That Night shall shadow soon thy summer sun? That swift the stream of Years Rolls to Eternity? If thou hast wealth to gratify each wish, If Power be thine, remember what thou art-- Remember thou art Man, And Death thine heritage! Hast thou known Love? does Beauty's better sun Cheer thy fond heart with no capricious smile, Her eye all eloquence, Her voice all harmony? Oh state of happiness! hark how the gale Moans deep and hollow o'er the leafless grove! Winter is dark and cold-- Where now the charms of Spring? Sayst thou that Fancy paints the future scene In hues too sombrous? that the dark-stol'd Maid With stern and frowning front Appals the shuddering soul? And would'st thou bid me court her faery form When, as she sports her in some happier mood, Her many-colour'd robes Dance varying to the Sun? Ah vainly does the Pilgrim, whose long road Leads o'er the barren mountain's storm-vext height, With anxious gaze survey The fruitful far-off vale.
Oh there are those who love the pensive song To whom all sounds of Mirth are dissonant! There are who at this hour Will love to contemplate! For hopeless Sorrow hails the lapse of Time, Rejoicing when the fading orb of day Is sunk again in night, That one day more is gone.
And he who bears Affliction's heavy load With patient piety, well pleas'd he knows The World a pilgrimage, The Grave the inn of rest.