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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Secret/poem + Induction weekend

a new blank verse poem up at The North American Anglican...
Take a look? You can even comment, it appears...

notes from the Saturday of Induction weekend
at The Baseball Hall of Fame...

Escaped to Glimmerglass State Park with Michael and child no. 3 for a break from Baseball Hall of Fame induction-weekend madness. We planned to paddle about in Otsego Lake. First though, we (i.e. the handy husband) started a big happy heap of briquets to grill steaks. How pleasant it all sounds!

Abruptly (such things are always so sudden!), the sky decided to change its colors, and a mighty horizontal torrent of wind (bearing rain so thick the grass looked streaked with white) decided to join our formerly-idyllic party. A brilliant, zappy electric storm broke the afternoon into pieces with blazing jolts and extravagant smashings of crockery. 

The Amish all got their horses and black buggies joined up and left us, clipping away at a fast pace, babes in arms and little children peering out the back windows.

We raced about and slung everything back in the truck except the fire. 

The big maple shading our picnic table snapped apart; half crashed downward and knocked over another tree. Impressive! How lucky we were to have the modicum of sense that sent us to the truck.

The rain slowed to a patter. Foolish, dauntless, and edged with optimism, we carted the picnic supplies back to our now wet and leaf-surrounded table. To try once more!

Then. The whole rackety ruckus started up again... 

We laughed. We tossed everything back in the truck once more. We abandoned our magnificent steak-pyre of burning charcoal that somehow had continued all its merry activity in spite of rain. What was left of the tree must have sheltered the grill.

After asome dithering and laughter, we drove home again. No rain. So we walked the length of Cooperstown's Main St., winding through the tourists in their striped baseball uniforms and baseball T-shirts and baseball hats and eating street food instead of steaks. I had a pizza slice from a portable brick oven that had rolled all the way from the New York City, and afterward an ice cream sandwich made by the ice cream fanatics at our Route 20 Dairyland under the willow trees. Saw many gawk-worthy tourists scenes. Saw many unfortunate small children of baseball fans plastered to their strollers by heat and entirely too much baseball. 

Child no. 3 ate six fried oreos for dessert and survived with no ill effects. This news seemed especially notable.

An unusually large number of police, state police, sheriff staff, and mysterious men in black-windowed vans were in evidence. And I noted a prodigious number of tourists who love sports but who evidently don't do any themselves. Or perhaps it was simply too many fried oreos...

So much for avoiding the crush! Happy induction weekend, y'all...


  1. Apologies to Clive, Lorrie, and some others who tried to leave a comment. I'm going to check and see if this goes...

    1. I suggest that you choose Name/URL, given what people have said...

  2. It is said that Americans - at their natural best - are good at optimism. This one (ie, who wrote the above post) not only confirms this but proves the author has a direct line all the way into the US literary tradition. Where did I first encounter "prodigious" used with exactly that idiomatic meaning and coming - as it does - slightly out of left field? Mark Twain perhaps? Given the location you describe I hope you approve of my sly insertion of sporting jargon.

    Thanks for the quote, some while back, from Kathleen Raine. Great rhythmic certainty. I am spurred to explore further.

    1. Well, I am glad you could post, as rafts of people said they had trouble recently. Well, small rafts! So maybe things are back to normal...

      Left field duly noted, haha--you are sly, indeed.

      Prodigious: I am sure Twain must have had something to do with it. He has a lot to do with Americans, especially with making fun of them.

      And also Puttenham's Art of English Poesy. I have forgotten the rhetorical term for moving one word from its expected place to another place in the line. I believe Puttenham called it The Traveller. Not sure. But maybe it's a type of syllepsis where a single word governs literal and figurative meanings? I can never keep those terms in my head, alas.

      Yes, I'm running a discussion on Raine and Wilbur next week. Should be entertaining...


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.