Friday, March 26, 2010

Cricket Poems?

Reading through Thayil's 60 Indian Poets anthology (on which more later), it suddenly occurred to me that I can't think of a single poem by an Indian poet about / involving cricket [1].

This is surprising because

a) We're supposed to be (and I would argue are) a nation obsessed with the damn game.

b) By way of contrast, I can think of several poems, and by fairly well-respected poets at that, that involve baseball

c) Though I'm not generally a fan of the game, I have to admit it has an almost ballet-like grace that should, logically, lend itself to poetry.

Are there poems out there about cricket that I've missed? Or is there a reason why nobody writes poems about cricket?

[1] On cricket poems more generally, I can do no better than direct you to the Minstrels theme: here, here, here, here and particularly here.

6 comments:

bhaskaryya said...

You'd find a collection of cricket poems on www.cricketpoetry.com but yes, you can't attribute any of those to Indian poets.

Never given much though to it before, but I guess it's the fact that the 'elite' Indian class consider cricket as a game of the masses and themselves above it, we have never come up with any decent poem on cricket.

But on the other hand, I don't even remember anyone other than Bukowski writing about baseball, and that too as a general reference where he picks up whores from baseball games. Could you please provide me with an example?

Falstaff said...

bhaskaryya: Donald Hall has a bunch of baseball poems. See here. And I'm fairly sure Mark Strand has some as well, though I can't seem to find them online. Plus there's always Casey at the Bat

Space Bar said...

you mean you missed this?

km said...

(@Bhaskarayya: poke around the New Yorker archives. I've read - or seen - at least a few poems about baseball there. Also, a link I found on MeFi: http://www.antiqbook.com/boox/vol/30326.shtml)



Interesting question.

I suppose writing about sports and games has never been considered "literary" in most countries, unlike the American tradition, which sometimes makes a fetish out of Boxing and Baseball.

Forget poetry - have you read good cricket prose coming out of India?

Mux said...

http://www.freewebs.com/sachinrameshtendulkar/index.htm

Not exactly about cricket per se.. Dom moraes on Tendulkar.

Rahul.... said...

have a look at books by neville cardus.
probably the best writer on cricket.