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Football Education (History, Literature & Philosophy)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 When I was in high school all those years ago
In English I was taught Keats’ “Ode To A Grecian Urn”
And whilst I loved this bright star’s resilient rebellion
Not one single word other than those in the title did I retain
But Rushie’s goals the style technique I’d practice practice practice
Kicking a ball against the kerb until just one toe poke poacher’s goal I’d mastered
The tireless heart of Razor Kennedy his crosses I’d read
Each collective noun bursting with football life for me…

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 In English the subject I loved most whose language was rich with
Lennon’s sarky verbs and Lydon’s snarling adjectives these were the
Words that spoke loudest to me not those of Jane Austin’s
Pride and Prejudice and Jane I was told was a genius but not compared to the
Genie Dalglish who could trap a ball and then cajole by pure instinct alone
Now that was dialectic artistry for me and Kenny’s boots not Austen’s prose
Who thrilled my willing soul and taught me sense and sensibility….

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 In English our teacher was alright, you could talk to him and in spaces
Between classes we’d moot the dark energy of Jim Morrison, the exploding
Freedom of Hendrix, the electricity of Dylan (Thomas) and I would ask
“Sir, why can’t we read about what we want to learn,
The way Steve Heighway twists and turns, Shanks’ prose and Paisley’s post-match clipped adverbs?”
But our teacher would smile and shake his head and point the way to the
Poems of Post-Modern Poets ensconced in Faber self-indulgent awkward forward penguin idolatry
Yet the canon of football with its bold thunderous boots spake, aye, more eloquently….

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 I was a child of Liverpool, Football, Punk, & Rock & Roll
A runtry grunty skinny outcast with not even factories left to be fodder for
Served my YOP apprenticeship alt to Maggie Thatcher’s endless desperate lines of dole
And we huddled in the warmth of the Armadillo, sneaking into Eric’s before the Larks in the Park,
‘til we pitched back up in school, and our teacher
Would smile and shake his head and lead us on to exam regulatory
“You have to read what the (now defunct) JMB Decrees”
But me (the bored) thought “Not for me” and jibbed school as
Quickly as the door allowed and left those “Essential reading” books in
A forgotten corner of an unused sold-off playground…
With Liverpool Fc programmes stored lovingly
Those Boot room proverbs and poems became my history, literature, & philosophy
With a nod to Bowie, I can’t change time, but it won’t change me.

9

Notes

Today (26/6/19) is National Writing Day

Ironic that I became an English teacher in later life, but it was writing for those old hastily photocopied and roughly stapled fanzines that I loved. Creativity is the heartbeat of education, but Dept of Education sees the cost of everything and the value of nothing, in the headless pursuit of STEM.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/football-education-history-literature-philosophy/