Analysis of a Football Poem

The assignment in class regarding finding a collection of seemingly unpoetic words or several phrases and placing them in the form of a poem seemed a little odd at first. My initial thought was “honestly how is this going to even begin to improve my English and writing skills?” However, as I began the process of selecting a section of seemingly irreverent text, and started to build it into a type of poetic form, my perception of the language and words began to change.

Here is what I chose for my poem. This is from an article in USA Today Sports section published on January 15th. (I titled it.)


You are looking at
Payton Manning,

Andrew Luck
Some of those guys had chances to leave early in there career

But didn’t

They decided to come back for another year
I want to do that as well.

At first glance these blocks of text probably look like meaningless phrases out of context, and really, they are. However is we look closely at each line and try to rid our mind of this “automatism” of perception, deeper meaning and emphasis can be seen in each line. For instance, I chose to split the sentence containing the quarterback’s names between each name to bring emphasis to each name. I thought it would be more profound to have Payton Manning’s (an 18 year career QB) name on top to emphasize his accomplishments.

I also chose to have the phrase “But didn’t” stand as it’s own stanza to make it stand out. I felt this was important because when I first read this block of text in the paper it seemed to me like this was the main point the speaker was trying to make, and I still wanted this idea to be articulated in the poem.

I feel that the way I have constructed this poem is similar to the poems regarding Donald Rumsfeld for several reasons. One is that both were made out of smilingly completely unpoetic phrases. Another is that each poem had some sort of effect on the reader that was completely different form what it was intended to be in its original form. In the case of the Rumsfeld poems, they brought humor. I thought my poem brought a feeling of inspiration that would have otherwise not existed unless put into a poetic form.


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