Must Reads

Mark The Longest Tennis Match With Haiku

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
John Isner Nicolas Mahut

John Isner of U.S. (top), winner of the longest match in Grand Slam history, leaves the court with Nicolas Mahut of France, his opponent in the historic contest. Pool/Getty Images Europe hide caption

toggle caption Pool/Getty Images Europe

The longest professional tennis match ever — the Wimbledon marathon between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut that finally ended Thursday after 11 hours and five minutes spread over three days — should be celebrated with the shortest of poems?

That conceit comes from the mind of Matt Harvey, Wimbledon's official poet laureate. Harvey shared the idea with All Things Considered co-host Robert Siegel Thursday.

An excerpt from the chat:

HARVEY: I want to put a call out for people to tweet to @wimbledonpoet. I want to make a collective effort of haiku.

ROBERT: OK. (laughs) Then you must set a good example right now.

HARVEY: Here we go. Here we go —

High performance play.

All day and yet no climax.

It's tantric tennis.

That's pretty good, actually. Small wonder he's the official poet for the prestigious tennis tournament.

Harvey offers more explanation on his web site.

So please send lines in about this epic match to my Twitter account @wimbledonpoet. Send haiku, one-liners, flowery couplets, anything that'll fit into 140 characters. I'll put them up on this blog tomorrow. Or soon. I promise.

*a haiku is of Japanese origin, a short poem of three lines, each of five, seven, and five syllables respectively. I met a Japanese/English poet who told me not to get hung up about counting syllables. So I don't, and hope you won't either.

So start sending Harvey your haiku.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from