Football Poetry book review – Eddie Gibbons

Book Review: “Game On!” by Eddie Gibbons, Thirsty Books, £6.99
ISBN 1902831985

Witty and funny 80’s style fanzine back cover, fronted by retro-ironic 50’s style goal mouth action – this is a book that you can judge by the outside. Yes, it’s about footie, yes, it’s clever and humorous, but the front cover wouldn’t let you know about the quality of the writing. Eddie Gibbons has an enviable ability to rhyme and write with economy, precision and perception. His poems are well crafted and drafted (was it Robert Graves who said to Wilfred Owen that “A poem is not complete until it’s written on a second sheet”?). He shows that it is possible to write proper poems about football, poems that go beyond the reflecting back of apparent reality, poems that hint at something a little bit more elusive, allusive and haunting. The book contains over 40 poems, all of high quality, including one that I would love to use in R.E. lessons but I include an extract from a different one to show what a good buy this book would be:


What happened here today
will turn into mythology,
and in the misty
melancholy of a later telling,
the whistle now blowing
will be a symbol
of something long since lost.

There will be an adjustment
of hopes; folklore and old songs
will be stitched together,
and be retold as
dim recollections,
small consolations
for the dark days ahead…

Source: http://footballpoets.org/news/2006/07/24/football-poetry-book-review-eddie-gibbons/