Taking One for the Team by Sara Holbrook


Introduction

Sara Holbrook’s poem Taking One for the Team is a masterful use of juxtaposition, metaphors, similes, alliteration, and repetition to create an experience through language. The title chosen by Holbrook may lead readers to infer that the poem carries a negative connotation. Generally, the phrase “taking one for the team” implies that a sacrifice has been made for the team through deception, such as cheating. However, the poem conveys a much more positive message about the team’s relationship by emphasising the importance of unity, equality, and sticking together through losses.

Summary

Taking One for the Team is a short poem about teamwork and unity written by Sara Holbrook. The poem conveys the concept that we should constantly support one another, even if we fail at times. The poet writes in the poem that she and her companions practised hard, but that despite scoring lower than their opponents in the game, they are not unhappy with one another.

The poem contains two nine-line stanzas. In the poem, the poet claims that she and her friends practised together. They sweated and stained, leaving no stone unturned in their preparation for the approaching contest. They pummeled, that is,  made jokes, patted each other, etc. in order to laugh off (overcome) the agony which they might have undergone due to over-work.

The poet goes on to remark that there may be times when the team members disagree on certain issues. They may taunt or even blame each other, they may squabble i.e. argue over little issues or even whine and complain, but when it is time to play, they get down for the game, i.e. form a team and play with vigour.

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Then the poet assures her team that she will always be there for them, no matter what. According to her, they fought the good fight, that is, they played the game, and even though their score was lower than the opposing team’s in the game they played the night before, they are still walking tall, that is, with full pride.

Even after defeat, the entire team stayed unified (there were no disputes), and they were glued to each other like crazy glue. Finally, the poet expresses her pride in having lost the game with her team.

Crazy glue is a metaphor for the tight bond that exists among the members of the team. The last line seemed ironic. It does, however, send a message of unity through thick and thin.

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