Poet's Choice

By Mary Karr
Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hearing a ball game on the radio recently said spring to me, as does any trip to Yankee stadium (now in its last season before demolition). In New York, the chatter about team injuries can take on a tribal intensity -- which is why I cracked Baseball Haiku: American and Japanese Haiku and Senryu on Baseball. Editor and translator Cor van den Heuvel is a haiku aficionado whose single-image poems capture moments from my own baseball-centered childhood, like these two:

baseball cards

spread out on the bed

April rain

biking to the field

under a cloudless sky

my glove on the handlebars

In George Swede's work, as is evident in the two here, the natural world interrupts and supercedes play, lending totemic power to things like dandelion seeds and sunbeams:

empty baseball field

a dandelion seed floats through

the strike zone

village ball game

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