The Old Umpire

So after the relative success of my villanelle last week (by relative success, I mean no one told me to burn my computer and kill myself), I’ve had a go at an ‘Italian’ sonnet. This is also for my MA and they have to be handed in at the end of next month, alongside a piece of theatre and a short story.

Again, massively out of my comfort zone, so any feedback is hugely appreciated. Like, in the third stanza after the ‘volta’, do I have to capitalise the start of each line when they run into each other?

The Old Umpire

Six pebbles to guide him through the long day,
Each innings a lifetime, no two the same,
How reassuring, the gentleman’s game,
He shuts out the world, draws breath and says ‘Play’.

All human foibles are found at the crease,
From stand-and-deliver, brutal biffer,
To hunched over nurdler, wafting whiffer,
Out in the middle is where he finds peace.

But Old Father Time sees clouds to the west,
Weighed down with dark thoughts of what happens when
His own stumps are called; he can’t stand the Test
Of time for five days, with dashing batsmen
And bowlers of wit, who make him feel blessed;
That given the chance, he’d do it again.

March 21 edit: Here’s a new third stanza since I wasn’t happy with the original. I’ve played with the rhyming scheme slightly, gone CC, DD, EE, and I hope the last rhyme isn’t a stretch!

So pity the torment inside the mind,
Of the struggling batsman, form much maligned,
facing sliders, flippers, doosras and more,
Who closes his eyes and pictures a four,
But instead feels sickening thump on pad,
And eleven men screaming ‘Howizaaat?!’