Ancient Olympics - OLYMPIC POETRY

OLYMPIC POETRY (Illustration) Awesome Radio - Narrated Stories Famous Historical Events History Social Studies Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Poetry Sports

Ancient poems about ancient-Olympic athletes, written by Pindar, were known as Pindaric Odes.  This image, by William Blake, illustrates a more-recent form of such a lyrical work:  “The Bard.  A Pindaric Ode,” by Thomas Gray.  Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.  Click on the image for a much-better view.


In honor of the XXX Olympiad, London's mayor - Boris Johnson - asked an Oxford professor to write an Olympic ode in ancient Greek.  Hereafter is its English translation:

This new Olympic flame behold,
that once burned bright in Greece of old;
With happy hearts receive once more
these Games revived on London's shore.

Praise rival teams, in sport allied,
as athletes stream from far and wide;
The poet too must take the road
conveying praise to victory owed.

Millions of watchers will embrace
the passion of each close-run race,
The efforts of the rowing teams
and gymnasts balancing on beams.

They will observe with rapt delight
the archer draw his bowstring tight,
The skillful rider guide her horse,
and lightning bolt around the course.

The pipes will play, the drum resound,
as medallists are daily crowned;
The crowd's hurrah will reach the skies
when victors hoist the golden prize.

Now welcome to this sea-girt land,
with London's Mayor and co. at hand.
Good luck to all who strive to win:
applaud, and let the Games begin!

By Dr. Armand D'Angour
Commissioned for the 2012 London Games


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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: Feb 25, 2015

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"OLYMPIC POETRY" AwesomeStories.com. Jun 01, 2005. Jan 19, 2020.
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