I have enjoyed reading poems as long as I can remember, having been encouraged by my parents and at primary school. Encouraged to write at secondary school, by my teens I was writing verse myself and sending my efforts off to local newspaper and magazines.
Appreciation of ice hockey came later. I suspect that, little like the fox in Saint-Exupéry "Little Prince", ice hockey has been gradually taming me for the past 20 odd years.
My husband, Paul, is a sports writer who has written several books about ice hockey, writes up match reports for websites and local newspapers and does the announcements for home matches of the YKK sponsored Widnes Wild Ice Hockey Team. He also provides the music and annoucements for the Widnes Widnes Women’s Ice Hockey Team and the Riverside Raiders Recreational Ice Hockey Team home matches. I try to help out by taking notes of the incidents during matches and in 2016 I began to keep the score sheet for the Raiders home matches.
I began to write silly verse to encourage the teams and then Paul put forward the suggestion that I could perhaps become the Resident Poet at the rink. So I have a Facebook Page where I share my crazy verse.
When Paul gave me a copy of Bill’s book, I was pleased to note that I was not alone in writing crazy ice hockey verse. Bill has a very different approach to mine – apart from the obvious – he is not only originally from Canada (where ice hockey was born) but he also plays and is coach of a team. Because of that, his poems reflect the changing room banter and the Preface to this edition of the book, and to the previous edition "Smokey and The ‘Smos" (of which this is an updated and revised version), which is also included, contain timely warnings as to the content of the poems and the spirit in which they were written. "I should warn readers that the language in this volume reflects the language of the locker-room. Please be prepared for profanity".
And Bill does not disappoint – 114 pages of wonderful ice hockey-related poems follow - wall to wall fun. I hope Bill will not mind if I share one with you. (I have chosen this with great care as, in these PC days, alas, you never know who is watching…)
"Eskimo roots" (page 43)
When we were wee squirts in lumberjack shirts
In the cold Canadian snow,
We never thought about Cambridge a lot
Though we were future Eskimos.
Then we played our parts and we played with our hearts
For we came from the lands of snow,
From our tiny tot roots we grew into the boots
Of Oxford-bashing Eskimos.
And that is just one example of a host of fantastic poems.
As it happens, I am also a life-long Cambridge supporter, beginning with the Boat Race when I was four years old, so that added to my enjoyment of the book. The law of averages suggests that, as there are two or us, there will be more – the hunt is on!
Lucy London, 1st July 2019
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Independently published (10 May 2019)
Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.7 x 19.8 cm
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