October 20, 2010

"October Land" -- Poetry Blog

I've been threatening to write this poem for years, ever since an October long ago, immersed in baseball playoffs, league championships, the World Series, I stole T.S. Eliot's line in his poem "The Waste Land" October is the baseball month… Finally, last night while watching the day's 2nd baseball game on TV, I appropriated the first stanza from the poem, complete with a new translation of Eliot's (un-translated) quote from the Satyricon of Petronius. Of course, one would expect Pound to be a better batter than Eliot.

I've used Eliot's poem like a "drying rack," replacing socks here, underpants there, with my own just-washed words.

October Land
“I saw with my own eyes Rodriguez in the batting cage, & when the boys said to him, ‘A-Rod, what do you want?’ that one replied ‘I want to win’.”

(For Ezra Pound, il miglior fungo.)

1. The End of the Season

October is the baseball month, breeding
Homeruns out the dead land, mixing
Statistics & cheers, stirring
Singles with double plays.
Winter bored us, only
Football on TV, basketball
Eating up the Spring.
Summer surprised us, coming over Lake Michigan
With a shower of rain; we stopped in Memorial Park
And went on in sunlight, into the Stadium,
And drank beer, and bought a scorecard.
I am not really a Yankee fan, I’m for the Mets.
And when we were children, staying at Grandma’s,
My cousin, he took me on the subway,
And I was frightened.  He said, Marie,
Marie, it’s the next stop.  And up we went.
In the upper deck, there you feel free.
I kept score, much of the night, until the teams went south in Winter.

1 comment:

Timothy Cahill said...

Hi Dan, Wonderful poem. Love the image of going into the ball park. Reminds me of the first time I took Andy to Yankee Stadium. I took him to an entrance behind home plate, where the park opens up like a great green fan. He was 7 years old, and was awestruck. We both just stood there enraptured. We had great seats, near field level, and he was hanging over the edge in one of the late innings when Derek Jeter came over to him and handed him his batting gloves. I'm not making this up. Want to know how to make a 7-year-old understand the meaning of heaven? That's it. Thanks for bringing back the memory.