Ross Wilson (no relation) is a poet who was also a boxing champion. Not surprisingly then there are quite a few poems about boxing in his first chapbook The Heavy Bag.
I have to admit boxing is not a topic I generally pay much attention to. I felt The Heavy Bag was the most effective of the boxing poems here, the language is particularly punchy and straightforward while the short line length adds to the sense of physical exertion that runs through the poem. We also find here a hint of the supressed anger that boxing can help relieve:
"The bag twists and turns into a boss,
colleague, banker, politician....
a shape shifting shadow,"
This collection also includes poems about unemployment, factory work, Friday nights in town and two poems that touch on nature. Shell Bay tells the story of a family walk where the children learn by exploration:
"Wee hands turned treasures scopped from sand
and studied the hollow inside:
the absence of something forgotten
when zipped into the soft shells of their dreams."
The Other Side of the Hill describes a climb, with a scene familiar to anyone who climbs hills:
"And just when we thought: the top!
The horizon ran away
like a tormenting tease,
holding up more hill."
It's good to read poetry that is grounded in vivid real experience and this collection isfull of such poetry.
The Heavy Bag by Ross Wilson published by Calder Wood Press
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher (who also published my chapbook).
As ever, text in red contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.