Irish poet reflects on Games dreams
7:00am Monday 27th August 2012 in News
An Irish writer who turned to poetry after missing his date with destiny as an athlete has published three poetry books inspired by Putney and the Olympics.
Eddie Forde, from Cambalt Road, has now penned the trilogy, Putney Poems, More Putney Poems and Christmas Collections, which combine his talents as an observationist and his love of Putney.
But this summer's sporting spectacle has triggered memories from his younger days when he narrowly missed qualifying for 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.
So much so he even penned a poem titled Olympic Dreams where he laments the loss of his Olympic place more than 50 years ago but highlights a surprisingly happy ending to the tale.
Asked how old he was, the self-dubbed "senior citizen" cannot recall his real age and merely cites the pitfalls of the Irish registry system in the 1930s.
Mr Forde, originally from County Mayo, Ireland, has been inspired by the capital since he moved here and regularly gives live poetry readings at Putney's legendary Green Man pub.
He said: "I've lived all over the place, like Ireland, Liverpool and Brighton, I've had a few relationships and had a number of crap jobs.
"But the great thing about this city is that it is constantly changing with all the different nationalities, religions and beliefs. So its a perfect platform to use as a muse for writing poems
"I've been writing all my life - I've managed to maintain a daily writing habit which has become an integral part of my life and my poetry.
But life could have turned out very differently for the Irishman because he originally wanted to become an athlete and went close to appearing at the 1960 Olympics.
A promising 800m runner as a young man, with an impressive personal best of 1 min 52 secs, he only missed out on the games because of the death of his father.
He said: "I would consider myself a failed runner. I wanted to be a great runner but I didn't achieve it, so I became a poet, perhaps all poets have failed in some way,"
However, Mr Forde's Olympic wish finally came true two weeks ago because he secured two tickets for himself and "her indoors" to go to the 800m final at the Olympic Stadium.
True to form, there was even a rather poetic ending to the night because not only did he witness Usain Bolt win the 200m, he saw Kenya's David Rudisha smash the world 800m record in 1min 40.91 secs.
Mr Forde’s poetry books are on sale at Waterstone's and his next recital at the Green Man pub is on September 30 at 5pm.
For more information visit putneypoems.co.uk.
To watch his hilarious video visit wandsworthguardian.co.uk.
Olympic Dreams by Eddie Forde.
Sibelius harboured dreams of being a great concert violinist but he had to settle for becoming a composer.
Pinter wanted to be opening bat for England but had to settle for being a great dramatist.
I had ambitions of being an Olympic athlete.
But I had to make do with becoming a poet.
For Dad died 52 years ago today in an Olympic year which scuttled any hopes and ambitions I had for making the team for Rome.
Thirteen Olympic Games later I hoped I might get over to Stratford.
But tickets were like gold dust, so I had to live with the disappointment again and be happy watching it on the telly - until it was suggested that those unsuccessful in their first attempt should try again.
So I told her indoors, who went without much enthusiasm. She came up with two 800m final tickets.
For me it seems that Dad has put a word in for me, by way of recompense for leaving me high and dry and so young and so suddenly.
And so unfulfilled and so bitterly disappointed, without nay hopes of ever rubbing shoulders with good and the great like the and the Kelly Holmes.
So now I’ll be there to write my poems and to share the experiences with one and all, which makes me feel at last fulfilled, that I can have my cake and eat it.
We all have to accept that we are God's instruments.
He will do with us as he did with his son, which is still a mystery to fill his overall plan. And not the other way round.