Plato’s Bonspiel by Alf Brooks

While in grad school, I was working on a project for my editing class: a collection of Canadian sports poetry.  Curling was underrepresented in the literary arts, so I asked my father, a retired high school English teacher and life-long curler and fan, if he would like to write a poem about curling. He rose to the occasion beautifully.  We will print this poem on the program at his memorial service; he passed away Wed. Sept. 3rd.

Plato’s Bonspiel,

for Bob McBain

On the middle sheet

Of the Academy CC

Socrates, the persuasive skip

Holds the broom for Glaucon

In the hack, ready

To be guided. 

The double raise through a port

The angle raise takeout

The hit and roll across the house to cover

and backing

The perfect freeze

Each as the Forms dictate.

End after end

Rock follows rock, all on line.

All possible shots made

In dull perfection. 

From Thru the Smoky End Boards: Canadian Poetry about Sports and Games. Ed by Kevin and Sean Brooks. Vancouver, Polestar, 1996. 144. 

c My dad in his curling sweater (13?); his dad and mom in the back, his sister and brother beside him.  


3 thoughts on “Plato’s Bonspiel by Alf Brooks

  1. Absolutely inspired. I’m not s sports aficionado, but this was delightful.

    By the way, I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your father was a remarkable man.

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