Half Decent Poem of 2009: XVVII

Nominee: “Cricket” by Michael Hofmann.

Why nominated: It shows that you can profitably spend a rainy afternoon at Lord’s, watching nothing happen. It also puts in poetic form the heightening of the senses that cricket’s slowness inspires. Cricket commentary is stuffed full of observations as to what pigeons are doing, where buses are going in the distance and what those pigeons are up to again.

Best pun: “Another one of those Pyrrhic experiences. Call it/an expyrrhience.” I think there might be a Betjemanesque dig at a certain accent in there.

Best phrase: “two failing styles of drying”

Why it might not win: I want to read a poem, not chat with it.


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