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'The Wrestler' Grapples With Myth, Power And Love

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'The Wrestler' Grapples With Myth, Power And Love

'The Wrestler' Grapples With Myth, Power And Love

'The Wrestler' Grapples With Myth, Power And Love

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/157374811/157764121" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The Wrestler
Ron Tanovitz

About The Poetry Games
To celebrate the Olympics we invited poets from around the globe to compose original works about athletes and athletics — and asked you to be the judges. Click here to read the winning poem.

A Muslim-American poet and novelist of Indian descent, Kazim Ali's work has been featured in Best American Poetry and the American Poetry Review. He teaches at Oberlin College.

For Ali, the assignment became deeply personal. About his poem, "The Wrestler," Ali writes that he found inspiration in an ancient Greek mythological story about Meleager and Atalanta wrestling — and themes of power and love. "The wrestler of my poem," Ali writes, "does not believe what he's read in 'heaven's books,' but rather the intuition that his own breath and body, in movement with another, offer him."

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