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Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Man Booker 2009

Cross country

Six runners at the tape
had run
their six unequal distances,
had covered ground
as different from each other
as a Haiku from a fable
or a vignette from a sketch;

had traversed land
as varied as
ploughed fields and grass,
as meadows, moors and bogs;
some with the benefit
of spikes and shorts,
some in their normal togs.

Yet still they found a winner.




Congratulations to Hilary Mantel - and the judges.


20 comments:

A Cuban In London said...

Great poem and congrat to her, too. I loved her acceptance speech especially when she mentioned the betting odds and how she could not let down those people putting a wager on her. I will be buying her novel at some point.

Greetings from London.

jinksy said...

Anyone who can complete a cross country run is a winner in my book! But I think the worthy winner here was you with your poem...

Tabor said...

Nice spirit in this poem. We are all winners, I guess, including those who cheer them on.

Shadow said...

nicely presented, the diversity of the runners...

cornel said...

beautiful and inspiring

Derrick said...

Hi Dave,

Congrats to you for your poem. I can picture you poised, rather like the trophy engraver at The Open, just waiting for the winner's name to complete your task!

Linda said...

You really make people think about why they do things Dave. I like that. Is Wolf Hall deserving? If you don't win the awards or get on Oprah no one even knows who you are. Is it naive to think people write because they love writing or run because they love running? The "spikes and shorts" advantage always bugs me. Thank you for the thoughtful poem. Canadian news is only discussing the guy in Nova Scotia that won the Nobel Prize and the upcoming Olympics.

Friko said...

I'm glad it's Hilary what won it.
And your poem is a winner too. How much of it was
'here's one I made earlier' ?
Congratulations to both of you.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I was pleased that Hilary Mantel won - it is a great book and she is such a great writer. Interesting that it should be a historical novel too.
Your poem is a fitting one for the contest Dave - like the way you have likened it to a cross country race.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Dear Dave, a friend of ours will send Hilary Mantel's novel to us. I strongly recommend Sarah Water's haunting dark story, unputdownable.

Great metaphor this crossing bogs in a more or less impressing or conspicuous attire.

Karen said...

Great take on the Man Booker! I'll have to check out Hilary Mantel and the other nominees. These go high on my list of must-reads.

Bee said...

Yes, it is a bit absurd to compare these unlike things . . . as your poem aptly suggests . . . but the prize does draw deserving attention to all of them. Sadly, only one of them gets the big cheque, though!

Mairi said...

When the judges are confronted with apples and oranges in a flower arranging class they judge against perfection, which I assume is what they do with the Booker. Or maybe it's like an extended version of Friday Newsnight Review, with a group of people sitting around a table shouting at each other until Kirsty Wark brings down a gavel and makes them put their ballots in a hat. I enjoyed your take on the race.

The Grandpa said...

Nicely done.

Cloudia said...

You are my window on a wonderful bright world, Dave!



Aloha, Friend

Comfort Spiral

Gwei Mui said...

How beautifully you encapsulate and capture the variety and spectacle of a race

Harlequin said...

nice tribute to a marvelous accomplishment. well done all around!

A Cuban In London said...

Just wanted to let you know, dave, that your poem is up on my blog. It was posted last night, though, As I usually programme my updates beforehand.

Many thanks, again, for allowing me to reproduce such a gem.

Greetings from London.

Dave King said...

All
Apologies for the delayed replies. Anti-virus probs again! It seems that the update manager uploaded a corrupt file which jammed the whole caboodle. It then was not safe to venture onto the internet until the problem was solved. So now I'm even further behind! Ah me, oh my!

Cuban
I thought that was probably the best acceptance speech I have heard for that particular award. I, too, shall be buying it at some point.

jinksy
That is a lovely comment. My thanks.

Tabor
Very true. Those who only sit and read!

Shadow
Thanks, that was the inspiration (if I can call it that) behind the poem.

cornel
Welcome to my blog and my thanks for stopping by - especially with such a gen erous comment!

Derrick
It wasn't quite like that, though I do rather wish it had been. I quite like the picture you paint.

Linda
Yes, I am sure Wolf Hall is deserving. It was really meant as a general comment on such awards. She was my choice, just judging from the extracts and reviews etc I have read. It was also meant as a comment on the impossibility of judging.

Friko
Thanks, but not at all, it was a last minute rush job because I had nothing to post.

Weaver
I should imagine this will be one of the least controversial decisions.

Tommaso
Thanks for that. Yes, the reviews of Sarah's book are exceptional also - indeed, it was probably the best short list for a very long while.

Karen
Mmmm... me too! Thanks.

Bee
True, I wasn't meaning the Booker should be discontinued. Pity there can't be, say a series of prizes: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, something like - though the real value must be in the increased sales.

Mairi
I think it's more like your second version, somehow.

Grandpa
Much thanks

Cloudia
The window's in need of a damp leather just now, I fancy - but thanks for that.

Gwei Mui
Welcome and my thenks for commenting so kindly.

Harlequin
Much appreciated. Thanks.

Cuban
Many thanks for that. Warmly acknowledged.

Nevine said...

I came here via "A Cuban in London", and I'm hooked! I'll be returning...