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Bolt Too Bold?

Mr. Bolt is now one of the great, and most thrilling, Olympians - so it seems odd that the Olympics boss has chastised him for being too showy on the track. A bit like, yes, trying to keep lightning in a bottle, or accusing Mozart of using too many notes. While the world cheered, apparently, this dour pencil-pusher fumed. Anyway, given the overblown spectacle of the Olympics opening ceremonies, it seems like a Kubrick "war room" paradox to ask the great Jamaican sprinter to slow his antics down to a mediocre pace. So long as he respects the other competitors, he should be allowed to strut his stuff after crossing the finishing line - I suppose what galls the official is that Bolt is the first man in history to actually celebrate while competing, and still win.


Anonymous said…
Good for Bolt, and so much for the po-faced Belgian knight. But what's interesting about Bolt's dance is the intimate association of sport and music in Jamaican popular culture in a way that just doesn't happen in the UK. Nuh Linger is currently #1 in the JA charts. Have any UK athletes been celebrating their swimming and cycling victories by dancing to, er, Katy Perry?

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With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.