“Confessions of a Born Spectator” is a poem that seems to reflect upon the perspective of someone who prefers to observe life from the sidelines rather than actively participate. The title suggests a sense of self-awareness and introspection, as if the speaker is acknowledging their role as an observer.
Confessions of a Born Spectator Poem Summary
Confessions of a Born Spectator Introduction:
In this poem, the poet makes fun of athletes. But the fun is light-hearted. It is not meant to be taken seriously. The poet loves to watch the players in various contests. But he never thinks of taking part in them himself. He does not want to have his bones broken and his body injured. He is content to remain a spectator-‘That you are not me and I’m not you.’
Confessions of a Born Spectator Summary in English:
In this poem, the poet makes fun of athletes. But the fun is light-hearted. The poet says that when the children grow up, they feel interested in different sports. One child grows up and becomes a professional horse rider. Another plays basketball or hockey. This one hates to enter the boxing ring. That one loves to play rugby at a particular position in the field.
But the poet says that he is a born spectator. He feels most glad to think that he is not like them, or that they are not like him. The poet admires all the athletes who play for fun or for money. He likes to see the players enter the field in their showy dresses. He also loves to see them hurt and injure each other in the play. But the poet is a born spectator.
He says that his weak and shy spirit loves to feed on the heroic deeds of other people. One player runs ninety yards to score a point for victory. Another one knocks down even a champion. Another endangers even his vertebrae and spine to win a prize in horse riding. One might think that the sight of these brave acts would arouse the poet’s own ego. Then he too would like to be one of the participants in these competitions.
Confessions of a Born Spectator Poem
The poet says that his ego might be pleased to change places with some player or athlete. But their game seems to him to be very rough. In their play, they show no regard for one another’s feelings. The born spectator says that often a struggle begins between his ego and his prudence. His ego goads him to become a champion, but his prudence restrains him from doing so.
In boxing, the hard-clenched fist of one boxer strikes at the swollen eye of the opponent. In other games, too, knees are broken and wrists are cracked. While all this violence takes place, the officials show no great concern for the injured players. They merely ask in an indifferent tone if there is any doctor in the stands. Seeing all this, the born spectator feels thankful to God for keeping his weak body safe from such dangers and risks.
Finally considering all the dangers and risks that athletes have to face, the poet decides to remain a spectator. He says that he can drink to the health of athletes. He can eat with them but he can’t compete with them. He would buy even costly tickets to watch their game. But he would never change places with them. The poet reassures himself afresh that he is not like the athletes and the athletes are not like him.
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