Belfast Telegraph

Poetry in motion as performance artist tackles the beautiful game

By Grace McAllister

It's the beautiful game - but not as you have seen or heard it before.

As World Cup fever takes over living rooms and pubs across the globe, a local artist is rhyming about its rules.

Performance poet Colin Hassard recently published his aptly title The Beautiful Game on Facebook - accompanied by a video filmed at Crusaders FC's Seaview ground.

The video outlines the rules and ideas behind football culture and takes you line by line through the game and why it's loved so much.

Hassard described the piece as a "simple poem" and said it only took a couple of hours to write.

He uses a fun play on words to describe the different aspects of football as he goes through the rules of the game, the teams, the fans, and, of course, the goals.

In a flowing rhyming style he tells us: "A game of two halves played by two teams and usually on grass."

Hassard, originally from Banbridge, is a Belfast-based poet and spoken word artist.

He has been selected as one of the top 50 British and Irish Poets of 2018 by Eyewear Publishing.

His work has been praised, with BBC Radio Ulster describing it as "well crafted words" and Creative Voices NI evaluating his performance as "heartfelt and poignant. There wasn't a dry eye in the house".

Other poems by Hassard include My First Words, which he describes as "much more intricate", telling the story of childhood from first words.

You're There Now, which took just 10 minutes to write, was listed for the Heaney Award for New Writing.

But Hassard, who is a poet-in-residence for BBC Radio Ulster's New Voices, Science & Stuff' show, claimed there was no magic technique to his work.

Instead he said it was "a matter of getting into routine, putting the practice in, and getting better".

In August he is launching a spoken-word album at the EastSide Arts Festival as well as performing a show.

He said people can expect "laughter, inspiration and an entertaining evening of poetry and music".

Tickets are available on the festival website.

To watch The Beautiful Game video, visit

Belfast Telegraph

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