Posts Tagged ‘Owen Sheers’

Louis Esterhuizen. Walliese Rugby-unie stel spandigter aan

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011


Enige persoon met ietwat meer as terloopse belangstelling in internasionale rugby sal weet van die fenomenale opgang wat Walliese rugby die afgelope seisoene gemaak het. Pas het die Wallies Rugby-unie egter die ongewone stap geneem om Owen Sheers (foto), ‘n 37-jarige digter en skrywer van Abergavenny, as amptelike spandigter aan te stel. Dit sal dié voormalige skrumskakel se taak wees om as vaste lid saam van die span saam met hulle te reis en gedigte oor hul wedervaringe te skryf.

Die bekroonde skrywer het tydens die onderhoud met BBC se beriggewer toegegee dat hierdie aanstelling ‘n geval is van “stepping into the unknown”, maar volgehou dat die uitdaging daaraan verbonde “quite exciting” is. “The point is that you don’t come to it with a prescribed idea,” het hy gesê. “I have a privileged opportunity not just to examine events on the field, but to look at supporters, fitness coaches, families, the whole thing […] I hope my work will foster the relationship between sport and art, especially in Wales where there’s always been close ties between the intellectual and the physical.”

JJ Williams, Wallis se legendariese vleuel uit die 1970s, is egter minder entoesiasties oor dié aanstelling: “Most of our lot in the 70s thought they were poets themselves! But can you imagine a dressing room with Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennett and Ray Gravell, when they bring in this bloke and tell us he’s going to follow us around and write poems about what we get up to? He wouldn’t have lasted long; not that he’d have been able to publish most of what went on in any case!”

Prof. Dai Smith, voorsitter van die Arts Council of Wales (ACW) wat dié aanstelling met ‘n jaarlikse bedrag van £10,000 finansier, het hierdie inisiatief soos volg gemotiveer: “The programme is part of a wider arts strategic policy that seeks to enable the arts to express and celebrate the ethos and character of Welsh society.”

Selfs Roger Lewis, uitvoerende hoof van die Walliese Rugby-unie, het hierdie sentiment nagepraat.  “The combination of physical daring and artistic temperament is a distinctively Welsh trait,” het hy gesê. “There is something quite special about us in Wales. We have cultural tolerance. Going back over 1,000 years we were, and still are, not only warriors but also musicians and poets […] This project will help the people of Wales achieve a proper understanding and insight of what rugby means to us all and will also explain how the modern game relates to wider society.”

Mmmm … Vir jou leesplesier volg ‘n gedig deur Owen Sheers hieronder.



Not yet my mother


Yesterday I found a photo

of you at seventeen,

holding a horse and smiling,

not yet my mother.

The tight riding hat hid your hair,

and your legs were still the long shins of a boy’s.

You held the horse by the halter,

your hand a fist under its huge jaw.

The blown trees were still in the background

and the sky was grained by the old film stock,

but what caught me was your face,

which was mine.

And I thought, just for a second, that you were me.

But then I saw the woman’s jacket,

nipped at the waist, the ballooned jodhpurs,

and of course the date, scratched in the corner.

All of which told me again,

that this was you at seventeen, holding a horse

and smiling, not yet my mother,

although I was clearly already your child.


© Owen Sheers (Uit: Life Lines: Poets for Oxfam, saamgestel deur Todd Swift)