Even when at the Grove
Sight of cold Clock
I long for Ars’nal
This amateurish attempt at a haiku is inspired by a proper haiku from the award winning novel ‘The Narrow road to the deep north’ by Richard Flanagan:
‘Even in Kyoto
When I hear the Cuckoo
I long for Kyoto’
Haikus were introduced to me by fellow blogger Red Arse a few years ago. Redders and I are no champions of brevity but we both admire the art of it, and I cannot think of anything briefer and to the point than a good haiku. A haiku consists of seventeen ‘on’ or syllables (although some syllables count as more than one on), in three phrases of 5-7-5 on. For more info see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku
There is something in the ‘Kyoto’ haiku that struck home with me (pun intended): the importance of the past: the cherishing and sheer longing for it.
If we were to detach Arsenal’s glorious mid-term and long-term past and just look at the here and now, we would be amongst the happiest football team supporters in the world: we won the FA Cup last year and are currently still in the competition; we constantly qualify for the CL and are currently still in it; we are in a good position to finish high in the league; we are financially sound and can now afford to buy one or two top quality players every season and keep our very best ones; we have a great reputation and a loyal, quality manager; we have some of the very best creative footballers on the planet; and we are homed in a sumptuous 60000-seater stadium in the heart of north London with hundreds of thousands – if not millions – supporters worldwide: many boxes of football fan heaven are surely ticked with these attributes?!
Yet there remains a feeling of dissatisfaction among many fellow Gooners, and I reckon this is to do with this longing for our glorious, romantic, mid and long term past. Or maybe, it is not so much to do with the glory and success of our beloved team, but simply a longing back for (a) great period(s) in our lives, which gets projected onto our team. In this respect, the here and now cannot compete with the past, as nothing is stronger than the dreamy, warm pull of nostalgia.
I have no doubt that nobody is feeling this pressure more, both intrinsically and extrinsically, as our always committed manager, Arsene Manager. As a human, he will have similar longings for the glorious, beautiful past; and as our manager he carries a lot of expectations on the shoulder-pats of his apparently un-zip-able coats.
We cannot detach ourselves from this past, and there is nothing wrong with cherishing it; but for our ‘here and now happiness’ we should really try to seize the day so much more, and bless our football socks for the club that we are today, in 2015.
Now let’s put that in a haiku! 🙂