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“Analysis of Baseball,” by May Swenson

Here’s a poem written in 1978 by May Swenson that provides a simple, yet surprisingly intimate, look at the intricacies of the game.  I particularly enjoy the choppy rhythm of the piece, and it really feels like an accurate portrayal of the game.  Yes, baseball is, on the surface, a simple game.  But when you take the time to really delve into it, it is the details of the game that capture the hearts and imaginations of its fans.


It’s about
the ball,
the bat,
and the mitt.
Ball hits
bat, or it
hits mitt.
Bat doesn’t
hit ball, bat
meets it.
Ball bounces
off bat, flies
air, or thuds
ground (dud)
or it
fits mitt.

Bat waits
for ball
to mate.
Ball hates
to take bat’s
bait. Ball
flirts, bat’s
late, don’t
keep the date.
Ball goes in
(thwack) to mitt,
and goes out
(thwack) back
to mitt.

Ball fits
mitt, but
not all
the time.
ball gets hit
(pow) when bat
meets it,
and sails
to a place
where mitt
has to quit
in disgrace.
That’s about
the bases
about 40,000
fans exploded.

It’s about
the ball,
the bat,
the mitt,
the bases
and the fans.
It’s done
on a diamond,
and for fun.
It’s about
home, and it’s
about run.

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