Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October's about more than ghosts—it's about baseball, too!

{Yadi-o-lantern by rocketlass. Her Johnny-o-lantern is here and her Ozzie-o-lantern is here. Manny-o-lantern to come.}

To kick off the World Series, I've got a piece up today at the Poetry Foundation's website about baseball and poetry.

Play ball!


  1. Anonymous4:52 PM

    Great Article, Levi.
    I thought you might enjoy this.

    Dodger Blue

    When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever . . . it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness.
    –F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby

    In the fall of 1988, Orel Hershiser’s curve ball
    Set like a white sun on the High Sierras: 59.
    The 0's burned the late summer scoreboard lines
    Like a moonrise over Chavez Ravine. He played shadow-ball.
    The box scores read like early Hemingway;
    Papa told me how he’d followed DiMaggio’s
    In ‘41. The Mets went down in seven, cocksure,
    With noses still red from their 86'd lady.
    Then, Gibson shoe-strung a Roy Hobbs
    On Eckersley’s back door slider: “Wonder-Boy.”
    I cried myself golden to sleep, dreaming Dodger Dogs
    And Vin Scully’s call: “the impossible...” was pure joy.
    The Los Angeles Times made the Bash-Brothers an analogue
    To Goliath. Miracles were dime wishes off the Hoover dam, toys.

    That was when I was 10 and Brooklyn sounded like a river
    I’d fish with my father. Later, we moved East,
    And I learned that Walter O’Malley was Hitler
    In Flatbush, Gravesend and through Kings County’s streets.
    They said it was like a death in the family
    When the Dodger’s went West. The “Sym-Phony”
    Did not play when they cremated Ebbet’s Field. Jackie
    Cleaned his locker out, sliding into the Sunuvabitch’s money
    With his spikes up, to remind him of the color of blood.
    I was 23 and living in New York– the old Capitol–
    Before I ever saw Willie’s catch-in the-rye, gloved
    Over his shoulder, in deep center of the old Polo
    Grounds. I thought of the Giants ‘89 Series,
    The earthquake and the aftershocks through the games.

    Canseco and McGuire were like Greek gods
    That year. Orel’s curve balls became a fever dream,
    And baseball turned into a game of shadows.
    Three years after McGuire and Sosa’s stadium Revival
    Tour led the masses back to the pastime,
    Barry Bonds passed Babe Ruth, tying Maris’ 61*.

  2. Anonymous5:55 PM

    Well done Octoberscare. I liked especially the qoute from Murial Spark. . .

  3. Thanks for the poem, Anonymous! It brings back that strangely memorable summer of '88 strongly.

    I've been pleasantly surprised by how many people left poems in the comments to the piece at the Poetry Foundation's site.