A Little Joy!

A little bit of grace goes a long way in America. Take baseball and poetry, the World Series and the Nobel Prize for Literature. I venture to say there is definitely poetry in baseball and yes, there’s baseball in poetry. These two things I love…a good baseball game and a good poem.

Congratulations to poet Louise Glück, winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature and to the Los Angeles Dodgers, winner of the 2020 World Series. These prestigious honors come during the challenges of widespread pandemic, political and social chaos, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods.

Just catch the replay of the rollicking World Series win on the faces of the Dodgers after the final strikeout. Those universal expressions of joy are pure poetry no matter who takes the title.

And who doesn’t enjoy the beauty of words strung into images that ignite the heart with empathy and yes, even hope. Savor the journey into Louise Glück’s poem, “The Wild Iris” that begins “At the end of my suffering/there was a door.”

The similarities are clear. Choosing to throw a fastball, curve, or slider is akin to choosing to pen a haiku, sonnet, or free verse. The connection of a well-tuned bat to ball is the music of rhyme. It’s pleasing to our ears. It excites our senses. Running the bases is like navigating stanzas; stealing second is a poetic turn; stealing third is a run-on enjambment. Catching a fly is the caesura of pause. And a homerun is the billowing masterpiece that descends completely outside the park. I can almost hear the poetic alliteration of clapping hands to other clapping hands.

Fanaticism? No. Writing is exciting/
and baseball is like writing./
You can never tell with either/
how it will go/
or what you will do;/

—Marianne Moore, “Baseball and Writing”

Thanks for stopping by.