Saturday, July 08, 2017

Excerpt from Donald Hall

From the Poetry Foundation's website:

In a 1985 essay, Donald Hall describes the sport’s most primal form: “Baseball is fathers and sons playing catch, the long arc of the years between.” Hall reminds us that as much as baseball and poetry are concerned with an unbroken tradition, they also share a devotion to commemorating specific, crystalline moments. Baseball is a game of punctuated stillness, of dramatic seconds surrounded by casual hours. The quiet intervals of nothingness between pitches make up most of the time spent watching a game . . . but then the pitcher glares in at home—and in “The Baseball Players” (1981), Hall explains what happens next:

Against the bright
  grass the white-knickered
  players tense, seize,
  and attend. 

A moment
  ago, outfielders
  and infielders adjusted
  their clothing, glanced
  at the sun and settled
  forward, hands on knees;

  the pitcher walked back
  of the hill, established
  his cap and returned;

  the catcher twitched
  a forefinger;

 the batter
  rotated his bat
  in a slow circle. 

But now
  they pause: 

  exact, suspended— 


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