Ode to Gold


The Olympic dream is one
that bites young and grown.
Blood pumps, aches come
and go. Success is homegrown.

Whether you compete or view,
commentate or congratulate,
the whole world is with you —
for high jump or speed skate.

For table tennis, archery, judo,
bobsled, skiing, gymnastics,
luge, fencing, water polo,
swimming and other classics.

Drive, passion, tears and victories,
on the podium and at the finish,
create winter and summer histories
that, like fables, never diminish.

Forget all the heartaches untold,
the crashes, pain and sadness,
remember bronze, silver and gold —
athletes shining with gladness.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: It took awhile to write an ode to gold, but I finally finished, long after the last gold was given and perhaps without the polish of Pindar. Feel free to leave a ditty here in comments to honor the athletes, many of whom have been training since they were younger than ten. The only thing I’ve been doing with regularity since age ten is writing. That would be my Olympic Sport. What would yours be?

Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks to Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe for hosting.

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53 thoughts on “Ode to Gold

  1. I was in Australia for part of the Olympics and it was fun to see how coverage was different. A woman in a grocery store line asked me how I liked the Olympics so far. I mentioned I thought the Womens gymastic events were wonderful. She hadn’t seen that but thought the Pole Vault was fantastic. And most of their TV coverage was of womens vollyball and rugby events. Each of the athletes is amazing–like your tribute poem. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your photo tricked me! I thought this would be a flower poem, or an end of summer poem. (“Nothing gold can stay…”) Instead, you wrote a fabulous tribute to the Olympians! Well done!

    My Olympic sport would have to be reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful ode to gold here, Brenda. I like how you capture the effort athletes put in, but how it’s all worthwhile in the end, in those “athletes shining with gladness.” I didn’t think I’d get caught up in the games this year, but I did–along with the beauty of Rio!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Brenda–
    Watching LOTS of the Olympics this year was “poetry in motion” indeed, and everyday I rejoiced that I had not respons/ability to join in such competitions. My favorite line today is not in your poem, but in your comment: ” poetry remembered me. And held no grudges. ” Your performance attracts the favor of the judges!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Heidi! We watched the Olympics, too. My favorites were the women’s soccer, the beach volleyball and the gymnastics. Constant action and tension. The swimming, too. My kids were impressed by the gymnastics, especially.


  5. I didn’t watch any of the Olympics but I loved reading your tribute to the amazing athletes. I especially liked the first stanza–it’s gritty with aches, blood pumping, and the dream biting young and old.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Diane. 🙂 I was published in HS and college, and then I took some criticism too seriously and STOPPED! I became a lawyer, always writing for my jobs. I was published in law school. Then I had back surgery, and I started a blog, and I remembered. Or poetry remembered me. And held no grudges.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “the whole world is with you —” Yes! I am amazed at the concentration and focus and years and years of dedicated practice these athletes bring to their goals – sometimes for only a few seconds in their execution. Amazing stuff. And that link – Who knew?! I loved reading about the (wacky) attempt at tossing in some humanities competitions, too, 100 years ago – had NO idea! Thanks for sharing all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not to mention the pain they endure. Those gymnasts have to hurt like anything from slamming their bodies around the way they do. One French gymnast broke his leg landing off the vault. Broke His Leg. And the bike crashes. The hockey slams. Basketball players sprawling. Beach volleyball players eating sand. Any of the sports — it’s amazing.


  7. Gold medal winning poem, Brenda! I love that you pay tribute to the entire journey including the crashes and commentators. As for lifelong activities, do they give gold medals for loving to eat? If so, I’d win! LOL =)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Brenda, I love that “bites young and grown”. It’s true, I never quit being inspired and admire the dedication very much. This time I actually know someone who knows an athlete! A still close student of my brother’s son competed and earned a bronze medal in wrestling. We were so excited!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the poem and the beautiful GOLD flower pic to go along. Here is a limerick you inspired!

    Brenda your Ode to Gold’s the best
    Such celebration of the Olympic fest!
    de Coubertin’s was too stuffy
    with words full of fluffy
    But yours won the Gold and beat all the rest!

    Liked by 1 person

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