Bobby Fischer, 1943 – 2008

Found out this morning that Bobby Fischer passed away today in Iceland, at the age of 64. While I was never deep into chess, I played a fair amount as a dabbler… and even went so far as to replay a few of his games.

I was always a fan of the legend, more than the man. And as an interesting tidbit, he and I share the same birthday, apparently.

A long time ago, I wrote a poem about Fischer. It’s quite old, actually, and less about chess and more about his self-imposed exile. I should re-visit the poem at some point – I’m half tempted to say that the whole first stanza could get cut.

Seeing as how I’m thinking today of Fischer, I thought it appropriate to post this up here… a snippet from the past, when I was also thinking about Fischer.

Bobby Fischer
by Felix Jung

Would I know you if I saw you standing
by a streetlamp, waiting for a bus or
checkered cab? I want to say I’d recognize
your hands, the way you’d hold a city
map. I’d like to meet you walking down
the block, the two of us almost colliding
by a playground where the hopscotch
chalk’s been lessened by the rain. We’d
step aside. I’d motion you. You’d shake
your head and motion me instead: one
arm outstretched, your legs two solid lines.

Every city has its grid, each street eventually
meets the next, however near or far from
here it is. The sidewalks have their lines
and distances, each house its old familiar
doors that creak and say Of course you can.
Come home, come home.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I love this poem. I encountered it many years ago on a Bobby Fischer web site.

    It’s a lovely poem. The imagery it evokes, the longing …

    It is a very beautiful tribute with deep felt sentiment.

    Revisit the poem, but don’t even think of editing it.

    It’s perfect as it is.

    Michael Garcia Reply

    • Thanks very much for the kind words, Michael. You have totally made my day!

      avoision Reply

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