Thursday, April 5, 2012

Opening Day

In honor of Opening Day, a baseball poem from 1923 by William Carlos Williams:
The Crowd at the Ball Game
by William Carlos Williams

The crowd at the ball game
is moved uniformly

by a spirit of uselessness
which delights them —

all the exciting detail
of the chase

and the escape, the error
the flash of genius —

all to no end save beauty
the eternal -

So in detail they, the crowd,
are beautiful

for this
to be warned against

saluted and defied —
It is alive, venomous

it smiles grimly
its words cut —

The flashy female with her
mother, gets it —

The Jew gets it straight - it
is deadly, terrifying —

It is the Inquisition, the
Revolution

It is beauty itself
that lives

day by day in them
idly —

This is
the power of their faces

It is summer, it is the solstice
the crowd is

cheering, the crowd is laughing
in detail

permanently, seriously
without thought
__________________________________

William Carlos Williams contributed numerous poems to The Dial in the early 20th century, thanks in part to his friendship with poet Ezra Pound, foreign editor of The Dial from 1920-23. "The Crowd at the Ball Game" appeared in the August 1923 issue of the American magazine.

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