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The Poets at the Ball Game


                                             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" (1961)

are not used to such good seats:
behind third base, a perfect view,
outfield grass as green as Lorca's Verde
que te quiero verde
. They feel a bit like
Miss Moore, honored by the Yankees in '68
to toss out the first pitch,

dream of "Poetry Day at the Park":
a personalized sonnet for the first
one hundred fans and free haiku for kids.
The crowd raps out rhythms with minibats,
signed by the poet laureate, count iambs
during the caesura of the seventh inning stretch,
recite heroic couplets for the hitter who launches

a long fly beyond the upper deck, filled
with visiting midshipmen, white uniforms a blur.
They cheer with the sound of frothing waves,
a thousand cranes in flight.
A forest of blank pages tossed aloft.

                                   Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
                                                Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
                                                                                       August 9, 2005

Reginald Harris

Autogeography
Northwestern University Press


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