During the 2009 Championships, the Wimbledon website had three creative writers – Niall O’Sullivan, Roger Robinson and Nii Parkes writing poetryand prose on The Championships for the Postcard from Wimbledon blog. Here are some of the best entries on the blog:
A Pilgrim’s Progress (excerpt) Niall O’Sullivan
(. . .)
We have made our trek from deepest, darkest Essex,
pitched our encampment to wait out the long weekend.
We have come to be part of that great British institution,
the pastime for which our nation shall always excel.
We have come here
to be issued our number and claim our rightful place–
get thee behind me 427! (. . . )
Wimbledon Haiku Niall O’Sullivan
Easy on the Pimms.
Remember, beer before wine.
Avoid mixed doubles.
Press Conference Niall O’Sullivan
It seems to be an important rite in this service to begin, believe it or not, with a question about tennis. This shall not remain the focus of our Mass, for today we have already received a wonderful sermon from Andy Roddick on the subject of Rick Astley. Murray responds in the monotone that some former high priests have mocked him about. While the tone of his voice doesn’t vary much, there is nothing boring about his speech.
I have heard many people prattle on in expressive tones and been far more bored because of it. Murray is simply a man with a mind for tennis, not for banter or lofty rhetoric. He speaks form a world we will never touch: a world of geometry, physiology, aerodynamics and psychology. Wittgenstein once said that if a lion could speak we would not understand it. If Murray could perfectly express what happens within him during a match, we would be left just as dumbfounded.
The fabric of life: The Centre Court roof (excerpt) Nii Parkes
(. . .) we could mutter, complain about the roof’s late
arrival, but we hold it all in – perhaps, because
it reminds us of that essential fabric
of British life, the stiff upper lip. that
which never trembles except when faced
with unexpected ruin, unforeseen rain.
The Other Side of Venus ( excerpt) Roger Robinson
. . . How the longer she rallied
the stronger she grunted,
and the more she grunted,
the harder she hit.
How she challenged a right call
and couldn’t care less.
How she aced her set point
serving like David’s biblical slingshot
to let you know,
the other side of Venus
ain’t no place to be.
A Short History Of Wimbledon 2009… So Far (excerpt) Roger Robinson
Nothing was set in the cool breeze of morning
the overnight queues wiped sleep from their eyes.
And ice creams were loaded, and blue flowers watered
as people watched boards for courts they might try.
The sun rose high and dry roasted the courts
and boiled lobster red, went those without hats.
They slathered thick sun cream over their arms
they’ve come here for tennis, there’s no turning back (. . .)
A-Rod’s I-Pod War Boast Niall O’Sullivan
(. . .)
Never dare whisper the Swiss has my number
Gonna read form books? I write with my racket
Run to the net, the sun sets behind you
Around Centre Court they’ll sing me to glory
And-y! Go Andy! The song stays the same
Desert your fancy of deposing Sampras
You won’t see me coming, I’ll rick roll your game