As the intensity runs through your body You feel the game.
As your heart rate increases You feel the game.
As you gain the will to win You feel the game.
All my dreams and fears come together And I feel the game.
All my skill waiting to be released I feel the game.
All the crowd anxious to see our team play I feel the game.
All my opponents feeling the fear Whilst I feel the game.
I really like the repeated line in this poem, which is working to generate in the reader the same pent-up excitement that the speaker feels. It gives the game a life of its own and makes it tangible, even though it is still to come. The first line, too, effectively shows us energy waiting to be released.
In this poem, the game is being played even before it starts, as the speaker's adrenalin builds up. The game is everywhere, not just in the speaker's body but in other team members, the crowd and the opponents.
The use of the first person places the speaker at the centre of the actio and, of course, this is what it feels like. But by bringing in all the other elements, the poem succeeds in showing us the excitement developing all around.
It's good to read poems about subjects which engage children and where they can explore different ways of expressing their enthusiasm. Ian McMillan shows us that there's plenty of scope for poems about football, and writing about a passion for a sport or a hobby is a good way of showing poetry's relevance to every aspect of our lives.
Jackie Wills Nick Gimbel receives Emergency Kit, edited by Jo Shapcott and Matthew Sweeney (Faber). His poem was submitted by Joan Secombe and Barry Smith. Jackie Wills is poet in residence at Lever Brothers in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. Please send poems, no longer than 20 lines, to Friday magazine, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX. Include the poet's name, age and address, the name of the submitting teacher and the school address. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org The TES Book of Young Poets (pound;9.99), a selection of poems from this column, can be ordered by phoning 01454 617370. A set of posters is available for pound;3.99