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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, January 12, 2005
    From the Bang to the Leap
    Linford Christie officially unveiled B of the Bang today and explained the inspiration behind Manchester's massive metallic explosion: his assertion that he always leaves the starting block at the 'B of the Bang'.

    Good one. So the sculpture is an attempt to capture that special moment, which all sports have. A moment of profound and decisive transition - like where the football hits the net, the cricket ball the stumps, the cycle wheel crosses the line. It brought back to me the one and only thing I've ever written about rugby - for Ridley Hall's rugby-fanatical college secretary, inspired by a painting on her office wall depicting one of those decisive moments; a poem I called The Leap:

    ... after the run
    after the catch
    after the chase;
    after the last desperate lunge
    after the last gasp
    after the triumphant forward plunge:

    the leap

    through heavy air

    ... before the thud
    before the crash
    before the skid of flesh on grass
    before the pain of flesh on bone,
    before the sky, the heavens, the earth,
    before the thunder of the crowd:

    before the try