President Taft Addressing his Ball
Below are some poems from a book called “A Line o’ Gowf or Two” written by Bert Leston Tayor and published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1923. Charles “Chick” Evans, the famous Chicago amateur golfer and a friend of Taylor’s, wrote the introduction. Taylor was a newspaper columnist, poet and writer. From 1910, until his death in 1921, he wrote a daily column in the Chicago Tribune under the byline “A Line o’ Type or Two.” During this time he became one of the most widely read newspaper humorists. His book is a posthumous compilation of his golf writings and poetry taken from his Tribune column.
First is a poem to fit the political season:
ON THE FIRING LINE
At thought of what may hap today
I’m not disturbed a bit;
And who may triumph in the fray
Perplexes me no whit.
The doings in Convention hall
Afford me no concern;
I do not speculate at all
On how the tide will turn.
I ask not who may hit or miss,
Who perish, who survive;
The thing that bothers me is this—
Why did I hook that drive?
Next, a poem of similar form that must have been written during the 1912 presidential campaign in which the sitting president Taft was opposed by both (Colonel) Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson:
ADDRESSING THE BALL
I do not like the Colonel’s camp,
Because I hate a crowd;
The language there would light a lamp,
And all the talk is loud.
I do not like the Taftian camp,
Its atmosphere is ghoulish;
The language there is dull and damp,
And all the talk is foolish.
I do not like a hue and cry,
I do not like a pall,
A plague on both your camps, say I—
Hey, Caddy! Watch that ball!
And finally four lines about this time of year for those of us who see winter coming:
Gather ye foursomes while ye may,
The old year fast is going;
And this same sky that smiles to-day
To-morrow may be snowing.
If newspapers or golf magazines still included poetry, then after the recent brouhaha involving Ian Poulter, the British golf pro, and Ted Bishop, then the head of the PGA, you might have seen a verse such as the following,
TED BISHOP’S LAST TWEET
The current head of the PGA, himself a golfing pro,
In his Tweet to Ian P. a bias he did show;
His words included “Lil Girl” a reference better skirted,
By doing so he lost his job and left colleagues disconcerted.