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It came up in my unseen English Lit. exam...

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They gave us this poem and a story to choose from for analysis. Both held the same amount of marks.

The story was from the viewpoint of a man who was admiring, who he assumed was the love, of his life from afar... But truth be told, all it did was give me an insight into the mind of a pervert / future rapist. And like come on, how can you be jealous of her pet hawk?


So I chose the poem. I spent about five minutes of the exam looking down, smiling at the paper. I just really like it, except for a few minor parts.

Anyway, I then annotated on the page, and got writing its tafseer, 7 pages of rubbish basically... (=



On grim estates at dawn, on college tracks,
In rings, in wheelchairs, velodromes and pools,
While we snore on towards our heart attacks,
They will outstrip the bullet and the fax,
They will rewrite the body and its rules.


Athletes who amazed Zeus and Apollo,
Rivalling their supernatural ease,
Must make do nowadays with us, who follow
Breathless, on a billion TVs.
Should we believe it’s us they aim to please?


The purpose stays essentially the same:
To do what’s difficult because they can,
To sign in gold an ordinary name,
Across the air from Georgia to Japan,
To change the world by mastering a game.


The rest of us, left waiting at the start,
Still celebrate, as those the gods adore
Today stake everybody’s claims for more
By showing life itself becoming art,
Applauded by a planetary roar –


The gun, the clock, the lens, all testify
That those who win take liberties with time:
The sprinter’s bow, the vaulter’s farewell climb,
The swimmer who escapes her wake, deny
What all the gods insist on, that we die.


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