Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Friday, October 7, 2011

Poetry Of Motion

Yesterday, rowing historian Bill Lanouette sent me a photograph (see above). At first, I thought it was the famous Biglin Brothers rowing a pair under the bridge on the Schuylkill . But how could that be, as Bill said it was a photograph taken by Joel Roger showing Bill and his rowing buddy Chuck Levy rowing under Key Bridge on the Potomac? Well, there are for sure some similarities, don’t you think? (see Thomas C. Eakins’s painting of the Biglin brothers below.)

Bill, who is an expert on the Biglins, writes that there is a big difference, however: The Biglins have matching shirts! I also heard that rowing historian Bill Miller noted that the Biglins are rowing a starboard-stroked pair, while Bill and Chuck are in a port-stroked boat. Either way, both pictures show what the great rowing coach Steve Fairbairn called “the poetry of motion.”

Talking about poetry, yesterday, the Swedish Academy announced that this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature goes to the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, an excellent choice, I think. I spent most of the evening yesterday re-reading a book of Tranströmer’s collected poems, in Swedish, of course…

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