Sunday, September 18, 2011

Baseball, math, and poetry

The end of summer approaches and, with it, the end of the baseball season.  This blog celebrated the triplet (baseball, mathematics, poetry) on 9 April 2010, featuring samples from and links to poems by Marianne Moore and Jerry Wemple. Today we herald the same trio, this time with "Night Game" by Jonathan Holden.

     Night Game     by Jonathan Holden

     These infielders are definite
     as sparrows at work.
     Split that seed with one peck
     or starve.
     There is no minor league
     for birds.  There is
     exactly one way
     to pirouette into a double play
     perfectly.  The birds
     don't dare reflect on what
     they do, each hop,
     each stab and
     scramble through the air into the
     catch of the sycamore's
     top twigs
     is a necessity,
     absolute.  To stay alive
     out in the field, you'd be
     an authority on parabolas
     and fear philosophy.

"Night Game" is found in Holden's chapbook, UR-MATH (State Street Press Chapbooks, 1997).  Other poems by Jonathan Holden may be found in 2011 postings for January 22February 18, and May 4.  You may also enjoy his essay,"Poetry and Mathematics," published in The Georgia Review in 1985 and more recently available in The Measured Word: On Poetry and Science" (ed. Kurt Brown, UGA Press, 2001). 

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