Talking to Yogi Berra about baseball is like talking to Homer about the gods.
~A. Bartlett Giamatti
I really like the style of this piece by Baron Wormser. It makes me think of the great ancient war tales — almost Homer-ish or Virgil-esque, in its own way.
Neither forces nor bodies equivocate:
Each action holds a tell-tale trait,
Each moment convokes an actual fate.
Reality, being precious, becomes a game
In which, nature-like, no two things are the same–
Whatever is remarkable is nicknamed.
The untitled fan applauds the grace of epithet
And thinks of warring Greeks, whose threats,
Stratagems, confusions, deeds though met
On a smaller scale are yet quiveringly real.
Player against player on a simple field,
It’s the keenness of conflict that appeals
To the citizen so sick of the abstract “they.”
Here, there is no such thing as a beggared day.
Achievement can be neither created nor feigned
And the whole mix of instinct, confidence, wit,
And strength emerges as a catch or a hit,
Something indicative, legible, quick
And yet as much a mystery as luck.
Lured by the tangible we strive to pluck
The meaning that cannot be awe-struck.
The exemplary fact remains–a ball,
The thing that rises and abjectly falls,
The unpredictable, adroit rhyme of it all.
We read that a form of baseball was a favorite sport among the Greeks. We do remember something about a Homer.