David Lee
was a celebrated American
rock vocalist, songwriter, actor, musician, author
and former radio personal widely known for his wild, robust
stage persona, and as the lead singer of the hard rock band Van Halen.
Born to a Jewish family on 10  October
in Bloomington, Indiana, United States.
His father Nathan Lee was an ophthalmologist and his mother Sibyl
Roth was a teacher. Lisa Roth, the producer of the Rockabye
Baby lullaby
music series is his sister. He did his early schooling from The
Webb Schools
in Claremont, California followed by John Muir High School
in Pasadena. Later, he attended the Pasadena City College where he met the Van
Halen brothers, Eddie and Alex.

David sang solo in late
teens apart from singing with a group called the Red Ball Jets.
He strikes many chords, tastes, souls with his distinct songs, off best
observations and potent singing and subject matter. He has a vocal range of
five octaves and three notes.
He has amassed top honours
at premier songwriter competitions – Kerrville (TX) and Falcon Ridge
(NY). His songs: Rising in Love, Manuel Garcia, May the light
of love, Nine Gold Medals and Earth have found their door
to Carnegie Hall, United States. He has served many genres, they are
Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Glam Metal and Pop Rock. He is known as a prosperous
solo artist releasing multiple RIAA– certified Gold and Platinum albums.

Nine Gold Medals by David Roth gives
us a glimpse of the Special Olympics ( a sporting event in which differently-abled
sportspersons participate). It motivates us in nurturing feelings of human compassion,
 empathy, sympathy, brotherhood,
sportsmanship and cooperation. This poem speaks of various
athletes( both men and women) who have come from all over the country to
participate in this ‘ Special Olympics’. They have come to partake for bronze,
silver and gold metals for which they have toiled hard for years.
Nine Gold Medals brings out the near about scene of a race and reminds
us of our own experiences.

In the poem, nine differently-abled athletes join in
the prestigious Special Olympics and how at last an unprecedented unforeseen
event preceded when each wins a gold medal in the same event. During the course
of the last ‘ hundred–yard dash’,  a
young runner tumbles down on the track and being unable to get up, cries of his
frustration seeing his labour go in vain. Others, hearing his scream returned
back to help the injured contestant stand on his own and complete the race hand
in hand. For their show of compassion, each was conferred gold medals.

However, many accounted that the event is based on a
true anecdote but somewhat partly. According to the multitude at the Special
Olympics Washington Office
, the incident took place at a 1976 track and
field game held in Spokane, Washington. But it was only a few partakers
who actually turned to lay a helping hand and finish the race. The others
continued their race. This has provided a great message to mankind and
urged us that this world no more needs the rat race but more cooperation
and collaboration. Ultimately this poem gives emphasis to the notion of care
and empathy rather than winning the burden of competition.

The athletes had come from all over the country
To run for the gold, for the silver and bronze
Many weeks and months of training
All coming down to these games.

The spectators gathered around the old field
To cheer on all the young women and men
The final event of the day was approaching
Excitement grew high to begin.

The blocks were all lined up for those who would use
The hundred-yard dash and the race to be run
These were nine resolved athletes in back of the
starting line
Poised for the sound of the gun.

The signal was given, the pistol exploded
And so did the runners all charging ahead
But the smallest among them, he stumbled and staggered
And fell to the asphalt instead.

He gave out a cry in frustration and anguish
His dreams and his efforts all dashed in the dirt
But as sure as I’m standing here telling this story
The same goes for what next occurred.

The eight other runners pulled up on their heels
The ones who had trained for so long to compete
One by one they all turned around and went back to
help him
And brought the young boy to his feet.
Then all the nine runners joined hands and continued
The hundred-yard dash now reduced to a walk
And a banner above that said (Special Olympics)
Could not have been more on the mark.
That’s how the race ended, with nine gold medals
They came to the finish line holding hands still
And a standing ovation and nine beaming faces
Said more than these words ever will.

The poem does not follow a
definite rhyme scheme. For instance, the rhyme scheme of the first stanza is ABCD.
Nine Gold Medals is written in the form of a song where we find eight
having four lines each. It describes a series of events
followed by a climax at the end.  Described much like a story of nine athletes
from all over the country. The language is  very simple and lucid. Here,
Roth takes the part of a narrator as well as an onlooker as he mentions “
as sure as I’m standing here telling the story/ Now it’s a strange one, but
here’s what occurred.”
Although the
poem incorporates no specific rhyme scheme it is full of rhythm and its beauty
can be relished by singing. Let us take the following lines as an example:

·       ‘ And a banner above that said (Special
not have been more on the mark.’
·       ‘And a standing ovation and nine beaming faces
more than these words ever will.’


There are majorly two poetic
devices used in the poem. The use of alliteration and climax add a lucidity and
rhythm to the poem. They are as follows:-
1.    AlliterationIt is the close repetition of continent sounds usually at the beginning
of words. Categories of alliteration assimilated in the poem includes:
“His dreams
and his efforts dashed
  in the dirt.”
But the youngest among them
stumbled and staggered.”
2.    Climax-  The text leading up to an event, phrase, mood or feeling of importance,
in prose or poetry. In this text, the climax is achieved when the empathy of
the eight athletes wins each of them a gold medal by helping their fellow partaker.

The Theme of Brotherhood
The idea of brotherhood is the
central theme which the poem ‘ Nine Gold Medals’ wants to convey. The poem
proceeds in the form of an anecdote describing an event of the Special Olympics(
organised for differently-abled People). Through a series of unprecedented and
unforeseen events, the poet has narrated the human feelings of compassion,
brotherhood, togetherness, empathy, sympathy and companionship. The poet has
specifically used ‘ Special Olympics’ for sending the special message of
universal brotherhood to the world.
In the poem, the nine athletes
have gathered from all over the country to participate in the prestigious
tournament and make their years of constant, effort fruitful. Both men and
women have participated together providing a platform for equality. As the poem
proceeds, a young competitor fells down suddenly. The injured athlete, unable
to stand screams out his frustration seeing his hard-earned efforts going n
vain. Upon hearing his howl, other partakers run towards him leaving their
race. What follows next is striking. They all ( including the injured athlete)
completed the race of ‘ hundred- yard dash’ hand in hand. At last, everyone,
owing to their empathy, was bestowed with gold medals.
The poem has successfully
reflected the idea of brotherhood. We now realise that cooperation and
companionship are what we need in this world of the constant rat race and freeing
ourselves from the burden of winning.

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