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Yankees Land in World Series: It's Pure Poetry!

WNYC Poet In Residence

Friday, October 17, 2003

Phil Levine:
I can remember the first time I went to Yankee Stadium… and I'd heard so much about it. I grew up in Detroit so of course I loathed the Yankees, they were constantly beating us. But when I walked into that stadium and saw the grass and the crowd was rising and sitting and cheering, I thought, well, what an incredible place this is, no wonder they play so well here.

I'm going to bring you this morning a poem I just discovered about the New York Yankees. It was written by Anne Marie Macari who was born in Queens and now lives in New Jersey. And it's a poem not only about the New York Yankees but about baseball and about sport and the way it can bring people together in a powerful bond and the joy it can give you- especially when your team wins.

Yankees
by Anne Marie Macari


For beauty, the men came toward us across the field,
and when they stood trance-still, or when they backed
hard against the wall, it seemed part of some
greater design, or when one swung, twisting
his torso and bending his knees at the same time
as the ball flew and the crowd erupted,
I was in thrall to all of them, because they held back
Then hit for their lives, because one gently lifted
his arm to meet the ball as if his own child
were falling toward him through thin air.
I even laughed at the men throwing beer
which drizzled onto my hair, and the one
yelling obscenitites at the other team.
The blinding lights helped me see
their perfection, and I became a devotee-
not just for the sake of my sons, my arms around them-
though it was strange to be a women then,
to love them that much, the arena
filled me with men who were ready and had chosen
their weapons, so when the ball disappeared
for the last time all of us screamed
and rose from our seats so grateful
for our own violence which got us
this far without torture or mutilation,
and to one team brought to their knees,
and to the heroes, small in distance,
holding each other, rejoicing.

 

For more from WNYC's Poet in Residence, click here.

Poetry Links

www.onlinepoetryclassroom.org
Basic information about Elizabeth Bishop

Alfred A Knopf on Philip Levine
Information on many of Levine's books

Galway Kinnell Reads Walt Whitman
Kinnell reads Whitman's "To The States" and comments on it
Philip Levine on the Internet Poetry Archive.
Read Levine's poetry and listen to Levine read his poetry
The Leonard Lopate Show: Poetry Magazine
Hear Mr. Lopate talk about the 100 million-dollar donation from Ruth Lilly to Poetry Magazine
The Next Big Thing: Poetry Lives
Alice Quinn, poetry editor for the New Yorker and executive director of the Poetry Society of America, sorts through some entries to the Poetry in Motion Contest
e-poets Network Book of Voices
a list of poets and poems from the Chicago area-- you can listen to poets read their work
The Poetry Project
is at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, since 1966
Bartleby.com
A collection of books online, including a bounty of verse
An Audible Anthology
A collection of poems printed in the Atlantic Montly to read or listen to
Gumball Poetry
It's a zine, it's a website, it's a gumball machine that dispenses poetry!


A selection of Philip Levine's books

A New Selected Poems
Available for purchase at Amazon.com

The Simple Truth
Available for purchase at Amazon.com

The Mercy
Available for purchase at Amazon.com

What Work Is: Poems
Available for purchase at Amazon.com

 

 

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