boxing day test, cecilia white


boxing day test

boxing day test won the International Cricket Poetry Prize 2011.

boxing day test

twelfth man leaves the field
we tumble back to our places
sitting cross-legged below a semi-circle of lanky shinned uncles
men, exhausted by another year’s hard labour
and christmas day
our skin sticks to itself on boxing day in new south wales
the geography of each body irrigated by sweat
it is impossible to imagine standing outside
for each over and over again
cork and willow clap in the dry summer heat
of another state
our uncles lean into the room, lean forward towards the box
as if they were next bat
tensing muscles deep in bare redbrowned arms
they are in the memory position
revisiting lives they dreamed as boys
when they could imagine up a roaring crowd
that would lift them high above the drudgery
of normal men

The poem has been published widely. Most recently boxing day test was selected for publication in Can I Tell You a Secret?,  the 25th Anniversary Anthology of Live Poets Sydney, launched in November 2015 at Don Banks, North Sydney.

It was also published, with essay, in ‘Notes for the Translators‘ (ed Dr Christopher (Kit) Kelen). International launches for this anthology of 142 Australian and NZ poets commenced in July 2013.

As a qualified translator (English-German-English) and life-long fan of cricket, preferably Tests, ‘Notes for the Translators‘ brings together Cecilia’s love of language, space, sound and the challenge of the (un)translatable.

‘i have travelled to see matches around Australia, have seen the rise and fall of crowds and nations with each ball. it remains my great dream to one day be at the melbourne cricket ground on boxing day morning, midday, evening to sense every other cricket moment in that one day’ cw

Image: at the International Cricket Poetry Prize event, Sydney Cricket Ground.
Image credit: Rae Desmond Jones