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|Madison’s poems tell of “Battles in the Circle” and reflect on wrestling|
By Michelle Thilges USA Wrestling
Poems by Willie Madison:
Battle in the Circle
A circle is my battlefield
Where I fight to survive with out a sword or shield
A war zone where no one gets killed
But where dreams are destroyed and some are revealed
Technique and hard work are my weapons of choice
It's just me and the sound of my coach's voice
I'm a soldier with the desire to win
So give me an opponent and let the battle begin
The Mat and I
Dear wrestling mat you've seen it all over the years
All the pain I've endured, the countless drops of blood, sweat and tears.
You were there for the good and bad and always was the first one to catch me when I fall.
When I had anger and frustration locked up inside I came to you to relieve it all.
I visit you when I'm all alone, when its pitch dark with no lights on.
Your circle is my comfort zone, more like my home away from home.
Every step I take you count them all and remind me that hard work pays off.
About the author:
Willie Madison, a Greco-Roman wrestler with the Gator WC, writes poetry to express himself. Recently, he has written two poems that convey his feelings and thoughts about wrestling.
"I wanted to write a poem that everyone could relate to," Madison said. "It is not anything to do with me, but it has everything to do with everybody in wrestling. Everyone can understand it whether they are women or wrestle freestyle or Greco-Roman."
The 60 kg/ 132 lbs. wrestler has written several poems, but only two, so far, are related to what he loves to do, wrestle. The words for his poems came to Madison one day in class. He said the poems symbolize what wrestling is really about. For Madison, wrestling is like a war.
"I train and prepare to wrestle someone from a different county and sometimes someone from here," he said. "The circle is like a battlefield. Once you step into the circle, you have to be ready to wrestle. The war is inside myself and on the mat. In war, you are going to have a winner and a loser. Your hard work and technique stands out the most."
Momir Petkovic, Greco-Roman assistant national coach, said Madison's poems depict what wrestling is about.
"The poems are special because wrestling is a combat sport," said Petkovic. "The same mentality is true in the sport; you have to be a soldier. You can tell how deep Willie loves the sport and that he deeply understands wrestling."
Madison has printed his poems on t-shirts and sweatshirts and taken them to events for others to purchase. On the front of the shirt, it says I am a wrestler. On the back, one of the wrestling poems he has written.
"There are so many shirts that promote egos; the people who make the shirt," Madison said. "I am promoting the hard work and what it takes to be a wrestler. I want to promote the sport of wrestling and be able to get a shirt to everyone who enjoys it."
Madison everyone who has seen the shirts thus far have liked the poems.
In "The Mat and I," Madison has a more abstract view of the wrestling mat.
"That is what all wrestlers have in common; there has to be a mat to wrestle. He's there when you are up and down. I treat the mat like a person," he said.
As long as Madison is training and wrestling, he will continue to write poetry about his experiences.
"To write poetry, I think you have to be passionate about something, whether it be flowers or something abstract. It is an art through which you express yourself. I am passionate about wrestling," said Madison.
Madison writes poetry to relieve stress and express his thoughts.
"Sometimes I share my poetry with others and sometimes I don't let people see it," he said.
To view Willie's poems and learn more about him, visit his website at
Attention USA Wrestlers!
Do you write poetry or songs about wrestling? Do you sing or create artwork that describes what you do on the mat? If so, USA Wrestling wants to hear about it! E-mail Michelle Thilges, at firstname.lastname@example.org and describe what you do, as well as provide samples of your work. Be sure to include your name and contact information in the e-mail.