I was called on the comment I made about wanting to write a literature and poetry blog someday and I got an email asking what good sports poetry is out there and what if any poems inspire me to do the crazy stuff that I do.
I always liked Casey at the Bat. It's a well crafted poem about a great athlete who is expected to do great stuff and with an overabundance of confidence - fails.
The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game , , ,
As far as a poem that inspires me, well, there are a few lines from a W.B. Yeats poem that have been tacked up around the house (and permanently etched on my brain) for as long as . . .I think it was high school! An Irish Airman Foresees His Death tells of the love of a pilot for flying and his confession that he became a fighter pilot (WWI) not for political considerations but for the joy of flying.
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
-- William Butler Yeats
What compels me?
The joy of being in the ocean or up in the mountains.