Poetry in Motion

After John Lackey gave up the hit to Dustin that ended his no-hit bid against the Red Sox two years ago, catcher Jeff Mathis walked up to the mound, perhaps to console or something, and Lackey said, “Give me the f**king ball.” He didn’t want to hear it. Let me get back on the mound and forget I had this no hitter thing going and let’s win, he seemed to say.That’s Lackey. And that’s what I love about him. Gritty, fiercely competitive, tough, and unrelenting. He gets the job done. And we are happy that his socks are Red Sox red.
So last night’s win wasn’t “poetry in motion,” as we often hear about fluid, graceful, or beautiful plays. But even poetry isn’t always “poetry in motion.” Take some of the greatest American poets, such as Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, or Anne Sexton(all from Boston by the way). Sometimes their work has a lyrical, natural syntax and form. Other times it is awkward and rugged. Still, it is beautiful and sometimes gut-wrenching and raw.
As quoted in my bio, the great novelist and short story writer, John Cheever, said, “All men of letters are Red Sox fans.”
If you are interested in this meeting of baseball and literature, check out the new issue of The Southern Review, one of the top literary mags out there, which is entirely dedicated to Baseball. Art, poetry, fiction, and essays.Thumbnail image for p4602.gif


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