'Once More,' Passing The Torch To One And All Slovenian poet Ales Steger says that the Olympics are for everyone, even "bankers with pacemakers" to "naked sumo wrestlers." The poem is a playful, "lightly humorous call to action," says Brian Henry, Steger's award-winning translator.

'Once More,' Passing The Torch To One And All

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More verse now, because every day this week, we're hearing competitors in our Poetry Games, MORNING EDITION's celebration of the Olympics in verse.


MONTAGNE: Today, competing from Slovenia, poet Ales Steger, who found inspiration in Olympic diver Greg Louganis. Louganis famously suffered a concussion during a dive at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. He went on to win two gold medals there. Louganis also won gold in Los Angeles and silver in Montreal. Ales Steger's award-winning poetry is translated by fellow poet Brian Henry. He says the poem, titled "Once More," is a call to action for everyone to participate in the Olympics, and for the Olympics to affect everyone. Here, Brian Henry reads Ales Steger's entry into the Poetry Games.

BRIAN HENRY: "Once More." (Reading) If a great idea is translated into a body, then Greg Louganis is an Einstein. If a body is translated into a great idea, Einstein is tralala oompah. Which gods do chess grandmasters dream about? It is time, my love. We all participate in this outrageous activity. Let bankers with pacemakers run the marathon. Let naked sumo wrestlers decide our common fate. Let us pierce the concrete with our heads. Every time, it's a top score, and we are in no hurry to get anywhere.


MONTAGNE: Ales Steger's poem "Once More," coming to us from Slovenia. Five days, five poems from around the world. Listen to them all at npr.org, where you can vote on the poem you think deserves the gold. We'll announce the winner next week.

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