Sports and games are the stuff of everyday life, and poetry about these topics may appeal to many, both poetry readers and those who usually run far away.
From the classic “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stevenson and “Take Me Out to The Ball Game” by Jack Norworth to more recent selections such as “Computer Game” by Charles Thomson and “Chess Haiku” by co-editor Chatterjee, this is a very accessible collection including folk rhymes, haiku, rhyming poetry and free verse. There is representation from the United Kingdom, the United States, India, the Caribbean, Guyana, Ireland and Japan, but the editors could have made it even a little more international. The Caribbean clapping game “I Wouldn’t go to Missie” is known in the U.S. as “I Won’t go to Macy’s,” for instance, but there’s no explanation of that in the several pages of information about the sports and games. It might have been interesting to include the dates under each poem (they are in the acknowledgments) so that readers would have a sense of the span covered, from the 19th century until today. The intensely colored collages provide further diversity, from the Indian Snakes and Ladders board to the tropical Guyanese landscape with two girls running.
An anthology that’s a little off the beaten path, for athletes and poetry lovers alike. (Picture book/poetry. 7-11)