Poetry News

At Long Last, the Marriage of Fantasy Football and Poetry

By Harriet Staff

Over at Culture Bully, Judy Mills muses and amuses on an all-poetry fantasy football team.

She begins with a brief intro and then jumps to arguably two of the most important offensive positions, quarterback and running back, choosing to draft Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, respectively:

While accepting a challenge is not out of character for me, accepting a Fantasy Football challenge is. Assuming I can research my way out of any problem, I started asking questions. A seasoned fantasy footballer told me he mainly uses his gut vs. statistics during the drafting process. “I got no gut in this,” I said. Now, if it were a Fantasy Poetry Football League, I’d be golden and go gut all the way. With that the following team of word slingers was conceived. I’d hit the verbal gridiron with this group any day.

Most assuredly, Ezra Pound is the quarterback. He was the main editor behind “The Waste Land,” best poem of the 20th century. His editing was crucial to that poem being that poem, and not the clunky, lesser version of Eliot’s. Also, Pound connected people. He worked to get others published and was a poet’s poet. Yes, he got a little crazy, was anti-semitic and turned against the U.S. in WW2 and was convicted as a traitor… but he knew poetry.

So, running back, TS Eliot for sure. See all the above. Once Eliot was confident, he ran with it on his own and severed his relationship with Pound. Sure Pound was crazy and an embarrassing house guest, so to speak, but Eliot has often been quoted, true or not, that good poets borrow and great poets steal. And the way he discounted Pound’s contribution to his early work; I think he did say that shit. Fucker. But I love his stuff. “The Waste Land” should be read yearly. I always read it in April (see: the famous first line) and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is in every poetry anthology for a reason.

Read the rest of her draft picks after the jump.

Originally Published: August 12th, 2011
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