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RedlegJake
04-22-2008, 03:19 PM
Summer always makes me maudlin, and lately I've been thinking a lot of baseball, my family, my dad "Poppa" and I found this in the scrapbooks. Thought I'd share it.

Poetry Dots a Baseball i

Boys practice poetry and I critique,
verses rehearsed on green tablets
with lines ruled in chalk. On the
mound a youth launches himself
into a question mark, exclamations
pop the catcher's mitt and another
hapless hitter strikes empty cliches:
one -two -three. The rhythm flows
from boy to boy like words strung
into flawless similes, punctuated
by "swing batta" and "rock-n-fire".

I am the didactic stanza, exhorting
youth to the grammar of summer's
art, cheering when the centerfielder
turns back to home and plucks an
apostrophe from space in scissored
strides, clapping when the shortstop
scoops commas from dirt and slings
hyphens to the stretch at first. By
season's end in shimmery August,
second-to-short-to-first is the infield's
sonnet and our runners enjamb bases
with the plagiarizer's stolen grace.


Each laughing child with leather, cleats
and grass-greened knees is a poem,
but the song is the last boy chosen, joyful
smile bursting into stanzas of glee
when at last, long last, he dots an i
and writes his dash of summer poetry.




Sep 9/1967


Charles Elledge

redsmetz
04-22-2008, 03:55 PM
I don't want to see this get buried. I like this one. My wife and I do a poetry night a few times a year with some friends and I've thought about suggesting to the Reds that they do a baseball poetry night in the dead of winter in the 4192 Club to break the winter blues.

Regarding missing your "Poppa", I was walking down to work the other evening and the neighbor kids were tossing in the street and the ball got away heading my direction. I hustled up and grabbed it and threw it back to them. I'd just thought the week before, as the weather has been warming some, that I miss those times with my son. I called him at college and told him I'd just tossed a ball and he should come on down so we could play catch. :) I really did miss him at that moment and I guess once school gets out, I'll play some catch in the front yard. Have to get the old arm in better shape though.

RedlegJake
04-22-2008, 04:10 PM
I don't want to see this get buried. I like this one. My wife and I do a poetry night a few times a year with some friends and I've thought about suggesting to the Reds that they do a baseball poetry night in the dead of winter in the 4192 Club to break the winter blues.

Regarding missing your "Poppa", I was walking down to work the other evening and the neighbor kids were tossing in the street and the ball got away heading my direction. I hustled up and grabbed it and threw it back to them. I'd just thought the week before, as the weather has been warming some, that I miss those times with my son. I called him at college and told him I'd just tossed a ball and he should come on down so we could play catch. :) I really did miss him at that moment and I guess once school gets out, I'll play some catch in the front yard. Have to get the old arm in better shape though.

I think anyone who has lost a parent, or had a son or daughter move out and on with their lives, feels what I felt today, from to time, those keen sharp pangs of memories you treasure. The Reds, and baseball in general, as silly as it seems to some, are one of those memory "triggers" that can bring yesterday flooding back to me as if it were happening today.

I re-read some of my dad's posts and stuff in the archives, and I guess that's what started my blues. Good blues, though, like the best of it's musical namesake. I miss him so much. For those who are curious, I posted a couple pics of ORG in the photo gallery, today, as soon as a mod gets them approved. Okay, enough of this.

RFS62
04-22-2008, 06:05 PM
Thanks so much for sharing that, Jake.

I'd love to see anything you ever find of your dad's writing. He's a legend here.