Wells woman uses her town to inspire her to London 2012 Olympic Games poetry

From fanatical excitement to total indifference, this year's London Olympics will incite a wide range of feelings.

And a poem, based on the views of people in Wells towards the Games, is to feature on BBC television.

The poem, called Going For Gold, has been written by professional poet Trudy Howson.

Miss Howson came up with some leading questions about the Olympics and surveyed more than 200 people.

She went to the Women's Institute, local history group, doctor's surgery, a housing estate, pubs, shops and the streets of Wells to gather opinions.


You may also want to watch:


Miss Howson, who spends about a third of the year in Wells and the rest of the time in central London and south-east Asia, said: 'I was invited to submit some poems for National Poetry Day at Wells Library last year and the theme was 'games'.

'I discovered that people in Wells had very passionate views about the Olympics, so I came up with the idea of doing this interactive poem.

Most Read

'I asked people questions like, why are the Olympics important to you? How do you intend to enjoy the Games? And what do you imagine an Olympic athlete's life would be like?

'I told people their responses would be anonymous and would be used to write the poem.

'I was overwhelmed by the amount of interest and got some great responses, some funny, some furious and some unprintable. Some felt extremely patriotic and proud of our athletes, others felt completely isolated from the Games and saw it has something happening miles away that has nothing to do with them.

'Some fishermen told me they would be listening to the Olympics on their radios while they are out at sea; I think that is a wonderfully romantic image.

'I find the people in Wells to be very passionate and romantic, often not in an obvious way but in their private lives, and they have a wonderfully lyrical way of speaking.'

She added: 'I am incredibly fond of Wells. The landscape is absolutely inspirational and beautiful. My partner died shortly after I moved here in 1998 and the people were so warm towards me. They really helped me through that difficult time.'

Miss Howson, who performed some poetry with her friend Vince Laws on The Albatros boat in Wells on Saturday, wrote to the BBC and suggested that the corporation make a film to be used as a trailer to its Olympic coverage. A BBC crew started filming on Wells Quayside this week with local people reading lines from the poem.

A spokesman for the BBC said the footage would be used on BBC Look East. He was not able to confirm when it would be shown.

Don't miss the next London Calling supplement in the EDP on May 29.

Going for Gold, by Trudy Howson

This is a poem about a place; Wells-next-the-Sea.

About the people who live in it.

This is a poem about pride and passion.

Ours is a landscape of sea, saltmarsh and open sky.

We harvest the land and sea, as did our forbears,

Sailors, sea captains, pirates, adventurers,

Our history is soil - and salt - coated.

We understand teamwork – hard work,

Tenacity and endeavour,

We are singers of sea shanties, dreamers,

Athletes of life.

We will be listening to the London Olympics,

As we patiently wait for the tide to turn.

As we proudly dress our Norfolk crabs.

Hearing you struggle to be the best.

We will be watching the London Olympics,

On television, at home and in the pub.

Watching you push yourselves to the limit

For yourself, for Britain, for us…

Going For Gold!

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus