Sports + Poetry = Engaged Learners
ISBN    978-1-934894-22-4
Poetry instruction for Grades 7-10
100 pages
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This 100-page volume from the

is helpful to new or young poets who
are studying how poems are crafted.  
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Here's a sample from the book.  
Each poem is presented with a set of guiding questions or comments.  
A complete set of suggested responses is provided at the end of the book.

(The following is from the book ON GOLF: & Other Sports and Non-sports – reprinted here by permission of the publisher)

Eulogy                               by Barbara Smith

Somewhere back there was a dedicated point,
A moment when you crouched,
Foot pressed against the starting block,
Fingertips planted in the cinders,
Eyes and heart focused on the track ahead.

Then the run, the years of used cars and mortgages,
Mortices and beneficiaries,
With an occasional barbecue in the backyard.

And now, head high, arms flung free and clear,
You complete the course and break the tape.

Our tears cheer your victory.


1.  Dictionary time! What does the word “eulogy” mean?

2.  Who is the speaker in this poem?

3.  Why do you suppose the stanzas decrease in length?

4.  What race or “run” is being referred to in this poem?

5.  What has happened to the runner who is addressed in the poem as “you”?

6.  A very famous eulogy poem related to sports is “To an Athlete Dying Young” by A.E. Housman, which you can find in a library or online search. Compare the two poems in
style and purpose. Can you find similarities in each speaker’s message? Differences?

Suggested responses for “Eulogy” questions:

2. A grieving friend or relative of a person recently deceased
3. For a sense of finality, real ending
4. Life
5. The runner is the person who has died after a long life.
6. Examples: one
similarity is that both use second person address (“you”); one difference is that one eulogy is for a young person, while the other eulogy is for someone older
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