Sunday, April 03, 2005

One down, one hundred sixty one...

One of the great baseball poems (actually the only one I know) and a fine poem about poetry, by Robert Francis.


Pitcher

His art is eccentricity, his aim
How not to hit the mark he seems to aim at,

His passion how to avoid the obvious,
His technique how to vary the avoidance.

The others throw to be comprehended. He
Throws to be a moment misunderstood

Yet not too much. Not errant, arrant, wild,
But every seeming aberration willed.

Not to, yet still, still to communicate
Making the batter understand too late.


Here is a poem that shows some of the possibilities of poetry. The line breaks at the end of lines 1 (aim/) and 6 (misunderstood/), the off-rhyme in the penultimate stanza then the smack of the full closing rhyme, the couplets and avoid/avoidance and errant/arrant - these are exquisitely expressive. It's a 95-mph fastball or an 89-mph slider on, or just off, the outside corner.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous LeChienSale said...

Hi, I am sure you know
at least

one more

baseball poem.

4/4/05 09:33  
Blogger rilkefan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/4/05 09:49  
Blogger rilkefan said...

Hmm, that comment deletion thing doesn't work very thoroughly.

I meant "the only great baseball poem I know"...

4/4/05 09:52  

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