Tennis star takes a shot at poetry (a fluff Venus article)
Tennis star takes a shot at poetry
Venus Williams tells Sam Lister about her ambition to publish her poems, "word melodies" that revolve mostly around sounds rather than story.
Former Wimbledon champioon Venus Williams has revealed her ambitions to publish a book of poems she has compiled while on the intrnational tennis circuit.
Ms. Williams, 23, said her collection of work of abstract "word melodies", numbering several dozen pages, has been close to completion, but the project suffered a setback when she damaged her computer and lost a large quantity of work.
The former No. 1, who is seeded fourth for this year's Wimbledon behind her top-seeded sister, Serena, described poetry as a "real love" that has often helped to focus her mind on her tennis career. She added that she hoped to devote herself to writing when her playing days are over.
"I love to write poetry", Ms. Williams told The Times on the eve of this year's championships. "It comes to me on a whim, when I just become taken with the moment."
"I like the arts in general, but words are something I particularly enjoy. I had written a lot. I felt I was almopst ready to publish, but then I dropped my computer on the floor. I was just heartbroken."
She said that she has since written a further 16 pages of verse, this time on paper, which she hopes will form the backbone of a future publication.
Although reluctant to divulge the exact content of her poems, Ms. Williams said their form is normally too abstract to categorize, and mostly revolves around sounds and word formations rather than specific subjects.
She said her younger sister, Serena, has recently begun writing verse too, but prefers strong narratives. One such poem, "the story of an abused woman", had left their mother, Oracene, in some shock, she added.
"Serena has just started writing and I have a few of her poems. Hers are much more storylike, while mime are word melodies - they are really quite abstract."
"But when we read Serena's poem about the abused woman - it was terrible. My Mum was really quite upset."
Ms. Williams said that at times her poetry became a muse to her on-court career, fueling her ambition to succeed. One rare narrative poem, I will win, was written in her locker room after she suffered a particularly galling loss.
"It just focused on my need to win. I had lost to the same person for about the tenth time and I had to let out my feelings."
Showing herself the true renaissance tennis star, Ms. Williams also unveiled a striking 1920s-inspired dress, which she is to wear at Wimbledon, and which she helped to design.
Ms. Williams took to a makeshift catwalk in London to reveal the outfit, a corseted white dress made by the U.S. designer Diane von Furstenberg. Her outspoken father, Richard, joined photographers to take some video footage of his daughter's new look, which included combed-down bangs.
The tennis star said that, aside from tennis and writing, she hopes to devote more time to fashion after her tennis career. "For me, I think fashion is very important. If you don't look good, you don't feel good."
The Times, London
Last edited by cellophane; Jun 23rd, 2003 at 05:01 PM.