For authorities whose hopes are shaped by mercenaries? Writers entrapped by teatime fame and by commuters' comforts? Not for these the paper nautilus constructs her thin glass shell. Giving her perishable souvenir of hope, a dull white outside and smooth- edged inner surface glossy as the sea, the watchful maker of it guards it day and night; she scarcely eats until the eggs are hatched. Buried eight-fold in her eight arms, for she is in a sense a devil- fish, her glass ram'shorn-cradled freight is hid but is not crushed; as Hercules, bitten by a crab loyal to the hydra, was hindered to succeed, the intensively watched eggs coming from the shell free it when they are freed,— leaving its wasp-nest flaws of white on white, and close- laid Ionic chiton-folds like the lines in the mane of a Parthenon horse, round which the arms had wound themselves as if they knew love is the only fortress strong enough to trust to.
Marianne Moore - 1887-1972
Baseball and Writing
(Suggested by post-game broadcasts)
Fanaticism? No. Writing is exciting and baseball is like writing. You can never tell with either how it will go or what you will do; generating excitement— a fever in the victim— pitcher, catcher, fielder, batter. Victim in what category? Owlman watching from the press box? To whom does it apply? Who is excited? Might it be I? It's a pitcher's battle all the way—a duel— a catcher's, as, with cruel puma paw, Elston Howard lumbers lightly back to plate. (His spring de-winged a bat swing.) They have that killer instinct; yet Elston—whose catching arm has hurt them all with the bat— when questioned, says, unenviously, "I'm very satisfied. We won." Shorn of the batting crown, says, "We"; robbed by a technicality. When three players on a side play three positions and modify conditions, the massive run need not be everything. "Going, going . . . " Is it? Roger Maris has it, running fast. You will never see a finer catch. Well . . . "Mickey, leaping like the devil"—why gild it, although deer sounds better— snares what was speeding towards its treetop nest, one-handing the souvenir-to-be meant to be caught by you or me. Assign Yogi Berra to Cape Canaveral; he could handle any missile. He is no feather. "Strike! . . . Strike two!" Fouled back. A blur. It's gone. You would infer that the bat had eyes. He put the wood to that one. Praised, Skowron says, "Thanks, Mel. I think I helped a little bit." All business, each, and modesty. Blanchard, Richardson, Kubek, Boyer. In that galaxy of nine, say which won the pennant? Each. It was he. Those two magnificent saves from the knee-throws by Boyer, finesses in twos— like Whitey's three kinds of pitch and pre- diagnosis with pick-off psychosis. Pitching is a large subject. Your arm, too true at first, can learn to catch your corners—even trouble Mickey Mantle. ("Grazed a Yankee! My baby pitcher, Montejo!" With some pedagogy, you'll be tough, premature prodigy.) They crowd him and curve him and aim for the knees. Trying indeed! The secret implying: "I can stand here, bat held steady." One may suit him; none has hit him. Imponderables smite him. Muscle kinks, infections, spike wounds require food, rest, respite from ruffians. (Drat it! Celebrity costs privacy!) Cow's milk, "tiger's milk," soy milk, carrot juice, brewer's yeast (high-potency— concentrates presage victory sped by Luis Arroyo, Hector Lopez— deadly in a pinch. And "Yes, it's work; I want you to bear down, but enjoy it while you're doing it." Mr. Houk and Mr. Sain, if you have a rummage sale, don't sell Roland Sheldon or Tom Tresh. Studded with stars in belt and crown, the Stadium is an adastrium. O flashing Orion, your stars are muscled like the lion.