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Many who have watched the Greatest World Cup Ever can agree the last-minute battles of underdog teams has yet to be matched by the bold, selfless, and noble derring-do of the USA side in their tragic match against Belgium - tragic, in the sense that Homer's work is, because so often the greatest are the flawed few, who fall before their time.  Especially deserving of praise is Tim Howard, already from this game a national icon in America back home, a goal keeper whose excellence, unnerved and ever-willing to leap and save, epitomises everything worth emulating about the beautiful game.  Beyond those who dive and cheat and bite, there stands the keeper with the stirring record of saves, Tim Howard, previously unsung, unheralded, now seen for what he is on the world stage.  In order to keep the fires of his memory lit, Eyewear welcomes poems inspired by this hero.  The first is by British poet Wynn Wheldon.


C’est la vie, Tim. It’s ridiculous.
Man of the Match but on the losing team.
Absurd. But bear this is mind:
You cannot create experience
You must undergo it.
You may think yourself unlucky, but
You have shared your finest moment
With the largest numbers, and such fortune
Is known by few.  Those spilling beer in the pub
Or coffee in the sitting room
Long to give as you have given.
You have found more in defeat
Than ever in victory, Leonidas.

copyright the author 2014.

Wynn Wheldon is a freelance writer.  His pamphlet ‘Tiny Disturbances’ was published by Acumen in 2012. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including Ambit, Interpreter’s House, London Magazine, The Rialto and The Spectator.  He lives in London and, for his sins, supports Tottenham Hotspur.

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