Roger McGough describes himself as a poet performer. He records his poetry for the BBC. The poem "The Fight of the Year" charms the reader in its unique approach to the changing seasons. Told in third person, the narrator shows the progression of winter to spring in an unusual way..
And there goes the bell for the thrid month
and winter comes out of his corner looking groggy
Writing the poem as if it were a prize fight between the seasons of winter and spring, McGough's free verse poem slowly allows spring to take winter down by a knock out.
The poem begins in March with winter in one corner and spring in the other. The bell rings and the first round begins. Spring gets in the first punches:
Spring leads with a left to the head
followed by a sharp right to the body...
The flowers put winter on the defensive. From daffodils to pussy willow--winter cannot compete.
Spring becomes more aggressive. The first newborn spring babies begin to arrive. Tadpoles to horses and hounds continue punching away at the cold season. Winter hs not given up.
The sun, the wind, the artist out on the street--spring keeps on attacking.
the pavement artist
in every town
a left to the chin
and Winter's down!
The gardens flourish with all sorts of vegetables. This is the knockout blow for winter. Spring takes the bout!
The progression of the poem parallels the oncoming spring. First the early flowers that can take the cool weather of spring begin to bloom. Next, the spring newborns arrive. Finally, the gardens begin to produce the vegetables to everyone's delight. Winter has been sent packing until the next year!
What a clever way to express the changing seasons!