“The Wasteland Called Huntington Grounds: Not Quite A Love Song,” by T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot’s work appealed to me the most during my college English classes, and he remains one of my favorite poets of all time.  I found this piece in the Elysian Fields Quarterly, though it does not appear that it was ever a completed piece.  My understanding (and please feel free to correct me if you know otherwise) is that this was an early draft of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and given Eliot’s discontent with the performance of the Red Sox at the time, not a terribly uplifting piece.


Let us go then, you and me
To see
The Boston Americans play
Like patients etherized upon a table.
Let us go through half-deserted streets
To claim our seats
On aisles covered by peanut shells.
Let us cheer and wave our hankies:
Shall we ever beat the New York Yankees?

In the bleachers, a woman wags her tongue,
Talking of the great Cy Young.

The starting pitcher rubbed the ball upon his pants,
The grinning batter choked up upon his bat,
Licked his tongue into the corners of his mouth,
Lingered over home plate that stood in drains,
Smashed the pitch high into the yellow air,
When the shortstop made a sudden leap,
But seeing that it was a soft September night,
Dropped back to earth, and fell asleep.

And indeed will there be a time
For the home team to come back?
Yes. There will be time, there will be time
If the pitcher will bear down,
And drop a sweeping curve over the plate,
Time to hit and time to field,
Time for the manager to make a hundred indecisions
Before the partaking of hot dogs and beer.

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