Poppy Bullard: Dr Seuss’ coverage of Roses 2013

Renowned poet Dr Seuss looks back over the weekend of sporting action…


Have you heard… Have you heard?
Will you take the time, to hear the word?
To learn of the venom between two opposers,
The tremendous tingling in thousands of toeses,
As York and Lancaster came to blows-es,
And battled once more in the War of the Roses.

Oh they came from so very afar,
By train, by bus, by coach, by car
Yes they come from afar (We’re honoured – how smashing
That they came from so far to receive such a thrashing)

“To Huntington!” the masses cried
The face-paint donned. The crowd wide-eyed.
The bands instrumental, proving quite continental
As the cheerios cheered, for the team preferential.

And then out came the boys in shorts.
The shorts so short – the abs so taut.
The scoreline level as libras scales,
Until the victors told the tale.

When it started with a crunch,
The crunch packed a pinch – and the pinch packed a punch.
And to seal the score, they raided the bench,
When the sub arrived, so hench he drenched
The opposition in trysts and tries.
Leaving mist in Lancaster’s eyes.

Friday saw The Plantagenets victorious,
Some victories easy, and others laborious.
They triumphed in frisbee, badminton and cricket,
Leaving Lancs with virtually nowhere to stick it.

Saturday dawned with yet victories more,
As women’s rugby gave generously to the score
Along with football and lacrosse
Lancaster simply couldn’t handle the dross
Amply donated from the source of all tension:
Simon Varley – who is worth more than a mention,
Because bullying may be morally reprehensible,
But if it’s true, then surely less contemptible?! (no, bullying is always wrong – ed.)

And so out came the hockey sticks,
With its quick tricks and slick flicks
As their vorpel blades went snick-a-snack
The opposition flayed like bric-a-brac
As forward and back, the pace of attack,
Left Lancaster in tatters.
But the clicks and the clacks,
Became slips and smacks, and not flicks, but hacks
So that, the likes of which are rarely unseen,
Out came the cards – yellow and green.

Just as the contest was unfurling
The ballroom dancing provided the twirling,
And swirling and curling, and oh so much more,
Which resulted in a tension-filled draw.

But campus was not the only stage
On which the battle continued to rage
At the regatta, the boats were boating,
And sinking and floating:
Some were winning, some barely coping
With the tacking and the flinging,
And the jibing and the spinning.
But as York’s skippers were mercilessly told
“Don’t come back unless you’re holding the gold”

As Sunday broke, the scene was set
For York’s great victory, but they were met
With stiff competition, in the sports tent
Where Lancaster’s netballers were hellbent
On salvaging even a scrap of pride,
Though their chances of victory very soon died
As York’s prowess saw out their dreams
And any hope of triumph split at the seams.

So when the days of contest had ended
The final score (having been amended –
Though just why the 10k run wasn’t counted
Is beyond me, as it could have amounted,
If the records are anything to consult,
To an even closer final result.)
Was a victory of an unsurpassable scale
To York’s fine sportsmen, who cried “bring on the ale!”

Quite how a weekend of such dedication,
Of such meticulous planning (and maximum hydration)
Could end scenes of such debauched depravity
In Willow, will always remain a mystery to me…


  1. This is superb. Well done PB x

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  2. This. Is. Great. Love your column Poppy!

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