Friday, April 09, 2010

Where, oh Where, has my Underdog Gone?

Many people followed the Butler Bulldogs up to the near-miracle near-basket that would have beaten Duke in the NCAA Men's Basketball tourney, but there was an even better (if colder) story brewing in the Men's Hockey over the past week where the RIT Tigers knocked off two schools with long-established Division I programs (RIT's is only 5 years old) to reach the Frozen Four. Their push came to an end on Thursday as Wisconsin knocked them off, 8-1. A great run for an unlikely team. What a great winter season for college sports.

So, uh, where are the underdogs to root for in the coming seasons?


While we're considering underdogs, unlikely candidates for our energy and affection, may I make a pitch for all of us, during NatPoMo, to find a poet from a non-Borders bookshelf and give them a chance to win us over? I've discovered a number of poets that way - some of whom I've later discovered were quite well-known, just not to me. I think that's a great feeling, to grow to love the art before you know you're "supposed" to.

I've gotten to know a number of poets that way, and had the good fortune to meet some of the them afterwards, and without exception they've been pleased (and surprised) when they discover you knew their work before you happened upon them in person. So it's a gift for the poet, as well as to yourself.

As Gregory Orr said, "Whenever I read a poem that moves me, I know I'm not alone in the world. I feel a connection to the person who wrote it, knowing that he or she has gone through something similar to what I've experienced , or felt something like what I have felt."


Another underpoet sentiment might be a request to folks organizing festivals and events this year to consider some new voices in their programming. I promise to do the same in Hoboken!


If you really need a sports underdog to root for this year and you don't live in Kansas City, let me know and I'll send you a link so you can follow my fantasy baseball team. Season's 5 days old and already I'm two weeks behind. It's 'cause I'm reading poems, not baseball stat books.

Yeah. That's why.

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