‘I feel the heat of the spotlight on me.’ Sports & Fame Culture Poems

Students talked about fame, culture, and sport and even watched an Oprah interview where cyclist Lance Armstrong offered up a confession.  This led us to a reading of a poem from Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion: The Poetry of Sportstalk. If creative writing guru, Julia Cameron is right-that fame is a drug- then where do we cross the line? Where is the division of the divine, sports god/goddess or celebrity and then where does that leave us ‘common folk?’  What does our understanding or misunderstanding of sport and fame say about us as a culture and our obsession with perfection?

Lesson Note: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the psychologist famous for studying ‘flow’ in sports, described it as ‘being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. [Then] The ego falls away.- Grant Faulkner, Pep Talks for Writers. 

Mr. Telles, 9th Grade
Period One

Abigail I.

I feel the heat of the spotlight on me
I walk out I hear the crowd roar they’re all just one big blur
I give it my all
I’m reminded of my imperfection when I hear the chorus of boos
Am now alone. I can only remember that single moment
The moment I wasn’t enough
It replays and replays in my head doing laps around my head
What could I have done?
I’m not in the spotlight anymore I don’t hear the
I’m alone left with just my thoughts as company

The Sports
Alexandra B.

I start my day like a runner,
pressing back against my bed
and jumping out.
Moving my legs as fast as they can
to get to the finish line, school
Where I start my day.

Weaving through the hallways, I am like a swimmer.
I glide, gracefully among the pool of people.
In class, I am like a lacrosse player,
I catch the discussion, run, and get the point.
In biology, I am a golfer,
precise measurements, before swinging the liquids
creating the solution.
I am also the referee, taking the calls.
My biology unit dependent on my say
To explain this game we play.

On my way home, I am a basketball player.
Dribbling my textbooks, notebooks.
Coming home and passing them to my bed.
By finishing the homework projects
I fall into a slumber.
I am now all the athletes as one.
Hiding away in the darkness of the night.

Mr. Telles, 9th Grade
Period Five

Figure Skating Is Not a Sport
Simona L.

A blade.
A boat.
And drive.
That’s all you need
to fly.
And very soon you will have
defying all your fears.
You could even make history.
All of this
That’s not a sport!

Ava J.

One scratch of the pencil
One stroke with the oar
a social life?
What’s that?
Sorry I can’t hang out
I have practice

Hope J.

Pressure Pressure
Not a mess
pressure pressure
lose loss
pressure pressure
be the best
pressure pressure
no time to rest
pressure pressure
win the contest
pressure pressure
no more stress
pressure pressure
why the heavy breath
pressure pressure
no time to stretch
pressure pressure
This is a test
pressure pressure
you cracked



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.