Wordsworth and football


I have to confess that this post has been inspired  by the triumph of my football team just yesterday and by the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” that I felt when my heroes scored three amazing goals that marked the success of S.S.Lazio. Yes It was powerful. So  I can’t help but wonder how Kloseooopsss,close ,I mean, football is to some ideas that Wordsworth developed in the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads. I know that It could sound blasphemous, but try to follow me. What is imagination? In simple words it is that degree of sensibility that allows you to turn whatever is ordinary into extraordinary. The consequent emotion is “powerful”, because unexpected. I’m sure that Wordsworth had chosen nature as source of emotion, because he didn’t actually know what football was. If we look at football with “ordinary”eyes , it is only a game about 22 adult males following a ball for at least one hour and a half. So,what makes it so extraordinary? Why today I feel totally ecstatic and why many others – many among my beloved students I guess – are bitterly disappointed? Probably because football somehow succeeds in keeping us in that “state of innocence and wonder” typical of children, that is , when our  mind is more responsive to feelings. So we are more open to joy or sufferance.  Furthermore every action of the game acquires an “extraordinary” meaning because the supporter not only shares his emotions with a multitude  people  but also  in that action,  goal or  penalty  he is the proud witness of a meaningful moment in the history of the club. That history is lived again and discussed every hour of every day on local radios, so thanks to this act of constant memory “our heart with pleasure fills and dances with……..”  uhmm, I can’t find an appropriate rhyme, but I’ m sure you will understand me,  won’t you?

23 thoughts on “Wordsworth and football

  1. So football had some inspiration in this Wordsworth man….
    football is the best thing there is, ofcourse there is all emotion, plus it gives people something to talk about for the whole week after seeing one game, be it at school, in the park, in bars, e.t.c. It unites us and divides us at the same time. People feel invested in the game, I include myself when I watch the Real Madrid, and if they win that makes me happy even if I had a crappy day.

    No analysis of literature today, but finally I know where this Wordsworth came to be in your blog. All because of good old European football.

  2. Wordsworth is one of the greatest Romantic poets and when he says that poetry is a spontaneous overfow of powerful feelings I thought : ” well, even football “!!! I do love football and I am a great fan of S.S.Lazio, while 90 per cent of my students support A.S.Roma. However, it is funny and we often have some Sunday fights on football. Real Madrid!!!! You are a winner, then.

  3. I think that it is pretty obvious that I comment this post , I remember this derby like yesterday and I still have chills (brividi) . However football in general is a modern application of romanticism : It is all interior emotions , very strong emotions that come from the heart . Maybe if Wordsworth was born nowadays he would certainly be a football fan and he would write his powerful emotions during a final of the champions league . A very recent example was yesterday : semifinal of Coppa Italia , Napoli against Lazio ; I was afraid to lose the game but a very shining sunbeam that is colled Lulic at the 79 minute scored the goal that sends Lazio in final . It wasn’t a final of champions league , but for a real football fan the emotion is always the same .

  4. Football is one of the most beautiful sport to see both live and on television. I must absolutely see my favorite team every Sunday. Football is pure romance and is all about the inner emotions that arouse in those who cheer for a team. It may sound silly but the emotions that football transmit are unique and hard to describe. Every Sunday I look forward to the match to start and every time after the match my parents ask me, what would it change if Roma won? I always think of how to explain it, but I am sure the week happy starts in the best way ifmy team wins. When I see a goal of my team scream like a crazy, it is an indescribable joy and it may seem strange to be so in love with my team.

  5. I think that football can be certainly compared with romanticism, because of the importance of emotions that are involved during the game. I’ve been playing football since a was a little kid and I can say that nohting else in life makes you feel certain emotions that you can feel during a match. I think that I can capture the same thoughts and feelings that Wordsworth could feel when he was observing the beauty of nature. I can also say that in football imagination is very important, infact everytime, before I game, a listen to music and imagine to score the winning goal of the match, and I notice how powerfuf this sensation is and how beautiful it is. Talking also about Buddhism, in particolar about focusing something, I notice that I have the same sensation when I’m in front of the goalkeeper and I have the possibility to score. In that moment I concentrate my self only on the ball and how to make the goal.

  6. This is maybe just one of the many things that our imagination can make extraordinary. Music, movies, even the saddest tv show can be like that, we just have to believe it. Nowadays people is attracted just by money, they think it could make them happy, but actually we learn everyday that is not true. Common things make us live and smile. Everything is extraordinary and we could feel that just opening our eyes. But it’s a subjective thing, it depends on each person.
    Anyway, Lulic’s goal did not just make people smile and feel better, it actually almost killed the supporters! Go Lazio!

  7. I believe that football is a sport very nice and charming, I have always admired as a child and continue to do so today with the same attention. I do not think this sport had moved in my life strong emotions inside me, neither pleasant nor unpleasant, perhaps because I do not love football so much. The engine of ” spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” of Wordsworth was nature, for many people could be football, but I can feel strong emotions only because of love. I mean love felt for the parents, for friends or for your girl, it manages to throw me from one mood to another without my noticing, and when I think about what can cause in me I am speechless.

  8. I think the main characteristic developed by Wordsworth in the Preface of the Lyrical Ballads is the simple subject: nature. Now, in the 21th century, we almost completely lost contact with nature. A theme closer to us is for example football. It’s the most followed sport in the world. Like nature it’s simple: just 22 men following a ball. So it’s easy to comprehend even without knowing perfectly the rules. Plus it’s able to make you feel deep emotions, “a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”. Besides it’s also an act of memory, because even after several times, you recollect those sensations, like winning a great match. Therefore I think football suits perfectly as the subject of some of William Wordsworth’s poems, not considering time.

  9. I also think football gives you so many great and strong emotions, so much adrenaline. I’ve always been in love with football, and I’ve always been in love with SsLazio… I’ve always loved those pure colours, which have always given me beautiful shivers since I was a little child.
    I see nearly all Lazio’s matches live at the stadium. It doesn’t matter how much time it takes me to go to the stadium, or how much voice I’ll have left, the shivers those colours give me, whilst singing our anthem, whilst seeing the match, are undescribable.
    They’re shivers you’ll never forget.
    Many people ask me why I go to the stadium, but if you’re not in the game, metaphorically, it just can’t be explained.

  10. I think that football can not be considered only as a sport as it arouses real emotions. Playing football since I was little and my passion has never diminished. The emotions you feel for football unlike other emotions that fade away with time, tend to increase. I remember that one of the strongest emotions that I felt was when I won a final and being the captain during the ceremony I was called to lift the cup. I think that day I’ll remember forever. That’s why I think that football can be compared to romanticism

  11. I choose to comment this post because I believe that football can be considered romanticism .
    I also think that if Wordsworth had lived during our era , he certainly would have written about football because this sport has the features of his poetical credo . For example it is a simple and common sport , in fact it is sufficient to have an available space , two objects to mark the doors and another spherical . Moreover in my opinion football is able to arouse great emotions , in joy and in sorrow , which remain etched in the memory of supporters forever . For example I will never forget when Javier Zanetti , at Campnou stadium , on 22 may of 2010 , raised to sky the cup “with big ears “ , and Inter returned to be champion of Europe after 45 years . Of that night I remember my tension before the match , the Inter’s choreography which reported “and now we together crown the dream ” ; the two goals of Milito , the tears of players , supporters and Mourinho who announced his farewell during that same night . This is the best memory which I have of my Inter and with all respect , I think that it cannot compare with a victory of a derby 😛

  12. ooh I feel that, I know what it feels when your favourite club is doing awesome in the championship, that is why I was really happy this year but due to corona, now the championship is “compromised” :((. I understood all, also thanks to the last lesson about Wordsworth

  13. I agree on everything. Football is the sport that most of all can transmit certain emotions and consequently it can very well be connected to romanticism. Nothing else in life makes you feel those emotions that you can feel during a game, played or watched on TV and I think Wordsworth could have the same thoughts when he observed the beauty of his beloved nature.
    If Wordsworth were present nowadays surely he would be a big fan of this sport and, probably, of the magical A.S. Rome 🙂

    • I completely agree with you Daniele, football is the best sport in life, It can change your day. We cannot explain football rationally. It is more than a game, players and fans share same emotions, and sometimes fans are the beauty of this sport.

  14. I completely agree with you Daniele, football is the best sport in life, It can change your day. We cannot explain football rationally. It is more than a game, players and fans share same emotions, and sometimes fans are the beauty of this sport.

  15. The power of football that makes me feel, Wordsworth would have said “a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”, is not related only to what happens inside the pitch but mostly is what happens outside. It has the power to make you share the same emotions with people you know or even don’t know, maybe even hugging them as they were your father for how powerful these feelings are.

  16. I don’t like football. I find it trivial, But I know that many people like it and when their team wins are overwhelmed by feelings that I can’t even imagine. perhaps the only thing that conveys the same emotions to me, can be a book or a TV series that I like so much and that, in the end, It always get me moved. I don’t know what it feels like to see a football match because I’ve never seen it and not even cheering on a team, but if the sensations and the magic that overwhelms you is the same as I feel when I read then it’s beautiful and must be kept on trying.

    • For me, football cannot be described in some word, the joys, pains, happiness and tear that this sport gives me are incapable for those who don’t love it.
      the love my father passed to me for the S.S. Lazio is something romantic, because for me football is a long story of love and tradition. Football united me and tied me a lot to friends who are important to me today, teasing, games, comments … I don’t like using clichés but football is much more than just a sport

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