Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Historic rugby poems found for Rugby World Cup 2011

PANZA celebrates Rugby World Cup 2011 with three historic rugby poems found by PANZA member, publisher and cricket poetry anthologist Mark Pirie, from New Zealand Free Lance (c1920s) and The Evening Post (c1930s).
The first humourous poem is on picking the team for the 1924-25 All Blacks “Invincibles” tour, from New Zealand Free Lance, and the second poem, ‘The All Blacks’, is on the team’s victorious return and was offered by Pirie and republished in The Dominion Post, 22 September 2011 as “The Thursday Poem”. The third is a more general poem on players in the game, from The Evening Post.

Robert J Pope (1863?-1949) was a Wellington poet (left) and noted club cricketer in his younger years. Pirie has previously written on Pope in Poetry Notes, Vol.1, No. 1, Autumn 2010.
The poems discovered by Pirie are not in Pope’s two published collections: Some New Zealand Lyrics (1928) and A New Zealander’s Fancies in Verse (1946). A visit to the Turnbull Library (when Pirie was looking for cricket poems for A Tingling Catch (2010)) unearthed them in Pope’s manuscripts. They had been cut out of New Zealand Free Lance and The Evening Post by Pope and glued in to his manuscript books; the third was signed in The Evening Post as “R.J.P.” Pirie is currently working on a fresh selection of Pope’s verse.
More at PANZA.


Geoff Churchman said...

Poetry and rugby? Good grief.

Morten said...

Interesting stuff....

Penny said...

I have a lengthy poem that was published in a newspaper of the time about the Springboks vs Taranaki game of 1956 (it was a draw), in which my father played!