Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Poem for Wednesday, Laptop, Baseball, Falconry

Baseball and Writing
By Marianne Moore

(Suggested by post-game broadcasts)

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;
   generating excitement—
   a fever in the victim—
   pitcher, catcher, fielder, batter.
        Victim in what category?
Owlman watching from the press box?
        To whom does it apply?
        Who is excited?  Might it be I?

It’s a pitcher’s battle all the way—a duel—
a catcher’s, as, with cruel
   puma paw, Elston Howard lumbers lightly
      back to plate.  (His spring
      de-winged a bat swing.)
   They have that killer instinct;
   yet Elston—whose catching
   arm has hurt them all with the bat—
        when questioned, says, unenviously,
   “I’m very satisfied.  We won.”
        Shorn of the batting crown, says, “We”;
        robbed by a technicality.

When three players on a side play three positions
and modify conditions,
   the massive run need not be everything.
      “Going, going . . . "  Is
      it?  Roger Maris
   has it, running fast.  You will
   never see a finer catch.  Well . . .
   “Mickey, leaping like the devil”—why
        gild it, although deer sounds better—
snares what was speeding towards its treetop nest,
        one-handing the souvenir-to-be
        meant to be caught by you or me.

Assign Yogi Berra to Cape Canaveral;
he could handle any missile.
   He is no feather.  “Strike! . . . Strike two!”
      Fouled back.  A blur.
      It’s gone.  You would infer
   that the bat had eyes.
   He put the wood to that one.
Praised, Skowron says, “Thanks, Mel.
   I think I helped a little bit.”
        All business, each, and modesty.
        Blanchard, Richardson, Kubek, Boyer.
        In that galaxy of nine, say which
        won the pennant?  Each.  It was he.

Those two magnificent saves from the knee-throws
by Boyer, finesses in twos—
   like Whitey’s three kinds of pitch and pre-
      with pick-off psychosis.
   Pitching is a large subject.
   Your arm, too true at first, can learn to
   catch your corners—even trouble
        Mickey Mantle.  (“Grazed a Yankee!
My baby pitcher, Montejo!”
        With some pedagogy,
        you’ll be tough, premature prodigy.)

They crowd him and curve him and aim for the knees.  Trying
indeed!  The secret implying:
   “I can stand here, bat held steady.”
      One may suit him;
       none has hit him.
   Imponderables smite him.
   Muscle kinks, infections, spike wounds
   require food, rest, respite from ruffians.  (Drat it!
        Celebrity costs privacy!)
Cow’s milk, “tiger’s milk," soy milk, carrot juice,
        brewer’s yeast (high-potency—
        concentrates presage victory

sped by Luis Arroyo, Hector Lopez—
deadly in a pinch.  And “Yes,
   it’s work; I want you to bear down,
      but enjoy it
      while you’re doing it.”
   Mr. Houk and Mr. Sain,
   if you have a rummage sale,
   don’t sell Roland Sheldon or Tom Tresh.
        Studded with stars in belt and crown,
the Stadium is an adastrium.
        O flashing Orion,
        your stars are muscled like the lion.


I have spent pretty much the entire day reconfiguring Adam's old laptop, a 2009 Dell Inspiron running Windows 7, but it has all been worth it because my well-loved 2007 Latitude running XP finally reached the point where it couldn't run the few programs for which I need a laptop. I had a minor crisis in the morning because my father, who was going to give it to my uncle, couldn't remember the system password from many months earlier, but eventually we guessed it and I spent the next very many hours deleting and installing programs.

Tonight, however, I am in a good mood, not only because I have a laptop doing everything I want it to do that didn't cost me anything, but because both the Orioles and Nationals have won their respective divisions and are both trending as #eastchamps right now! We were watching The Roosevelts during the end of the Nats game, following the score online, and less than half an hour later, the Os had clinched too. Now I am catching up on Dallas (go Pamela)! Some pics of the falconry at the Pennsylvania Renfaire last month:

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