SCARRIET POETRY BASEBALL: LAUREATES TAKE ON MERV GRIFFIN’S GAMERS

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Laureate fever is sweeping Los Angeles.

A small band of fans have gathered in an undisclosed location near Hollywood to vocally cheer on the Laureates, the “Irish” team of the Scarriet Poetry Baseball League.

A few supporters had signs saying, “We Want Yeats!  We Want The Beatles!”

One of the fans could be heard saying, “The Beatles were Irish, you know…”

John Lennon plays on the Tokyo Mist with Yoko Ono.

George Harrison plays on the Kolkata Cobras.

Paul McCartney plays on The Carriages, the team owned by Queen Victoria.

And William Butler Yeats plays with Ezra Pound on Eva Braun’s The Pistols.

Laureate fans wants these players on their team.

“It’s only fair!  We’ve got a good team, already, but we want to be better” said one young, brown-haired, brown-eyed, beauty, giggling.

~~~

Scarriet readers will recall that in game one of this series, in Los Angeles, the host Gamers of Merv Griffin, led 8-3 going to the ninth.

The Gamers then yielded 6 runs in the final frame—an Aphra Behn grandslam off bullpen ace Menander the winning blow. The Laureates had loaded the bases against relief pitcher Charles Bernstein.

The Dublin Laureates are owned by Dublin-born, 17th century English poet laureate, Nahum Tate.

Tate made a name for himself re-writing King Lear with a happy ending.

The Laureates are guided by popularity and kindly humor.

The Gamers and the Laureates, of the twenty five teams in the Scarriet Poetry Baseball League, are most representative of Light Verse and Satire, though the Laureates tend to be sagacious and moral; the Gamers are more playful and slapstick.

~~~

The motto of the Gamers, written by starting pitcher, Lewis Carroll, is “He thought he saw an elephant that practiced on a fife.”

The third baseman of the Laureates, Mirza Ghalib, the Urdu/Persian poet, is responsible for the Laureates motto: “Luck is bestowed even on those who don’t have hands.”

~~~

The muses are jealous of these proceedings; it is only with great difficulty, and with the assistance of the one muse who talks to us, Marla Muse, that we are able to broadcast our spotty coverage of full season play. This game was played weeks ago, but we’ll get the general news out to you, more or less, in a timely manner.

Marla Muse: All the muses covet this league. Only imagination itself is more dear.

Idealist philosophy gets news every day.  We just can’t possibly get it all.

~~~

The 19th Century English Thomas Love Peacock, who befriended the much younger Percy Shelley, and wrote satires of elaborate conversation (with no plot), liked, more than anything, as most writers did then, to walk the British Isles up and down, finding he could not write very well on long voyages aboard ship. Thomas Peacock is the Laureates’ game two starter.

Facing Peacock is the L.A. Gamers wry and fanciful poet, E.E. Cummings.

Cummings went to Harvard, and eloped with the wife of Scofield Thayer, owner of the revitalized Dial Magazine of the 1920s, which gave T.S. Eliot his prize for “The Waste Land.”  Scofield Thayer’s uncle, Ernest Thayer, wrote “Casey At The Bat.”

Ernest Thayer has no desire to play for Scarriet Poetry Baseball—which he thinks is silly.  But Merv Griffin is putting tremendous pressure on Thayer to play for the Gamers. We’ll see.

Alex Trebek is calling balls and strikes behind home plate here in Los Angeles, on a beautiful sunny day.

Ronald Reagan is the newly named manager for the Dublin Laureates.

The first base coach for the Laureates is Arthur Guinness and coaching at third for the Laureates is Bono.  

Bob Hope is the Gamers manager. Groucho Marx is the first base coach, and over at third for the Gamers is Moe Howard.

Here are the Lineups…!

The 1-0 Laureates have Sara Teasdale leading off, playing second base, followed by Oliver Goldsmith in center, Alexandre Dumas in left, at first base, Charles Dickens, Aphra Behn in right field, Mirza Ghalib holding down third base, Boris Pasternak, the catcher, JK Rowling at short, and Peacock, the pitcher.

The Gamers will try again to get their first win of the season with Noel Coward at short, Betjeman in center, Billy Collins in left, Eugene Ionesco, catching, Thomas Hood at second, W.S. Gilbert at first, Ogden Nash in right, Joe Green at third, and the pitcher, Cummings, batting ninth.

~~~

Bob Hope’s Gamers take a 4-2 lead into the eighth—Dorothy Parker, a new Gamer acquisition, pinch hitting for Cummings in the bottom of the seventh, ripped a double (as we see in this replay) off relief pitcher Dana Gioia to drive in Billy Collins and Thomas Hood, to break a 2-2 tie.

But here, in the top of the 8th, when Menander allows a single to the Laureates Teasdale, and walks Goldsmith, scattered boos and groans can be heard around the LA ballpark.

Lorne Michaels, the Gamers pitching coach, hops out of the dugout to talk to Menander:

“Go right after him, let’s get a double play ball,” Michaels says.

What else can he tell him? Menander complies, and Dumas hits one on the ground…but by the diving Noel Coward at short!!—a single. The bases are loaded!

Out comes Bob Hope, the Gamers manager. The call to the bullpen is going out to Christian Morgenstern!

Morgenstern earned a spot on the Gamers roster with this gem:

The Two Asses (Die Beiden Esel)

Not too enchanted with his life,
An ass once told his lawful wife,

“I am so dumb, you are so dumb,
The two of us should die, now, komm!”

But it should come as no surprise,
That they decided otherwise.

Charles Dickens greets Morgenstern with a double down the line in right, clearing the bases.

The Laureates, for the second straight game, have rallied in the late innings, as they take a 5-4 lead!

Charles Dickens, the most popular author of all time, claps his hands vigorously over his head as he stands on second base, Noel Coward and Thomas Hood a picture of disappointment on either side.

~~~

In the bottom of the ninth, the Laureates Gioia walks Joe Green on four pitches!

Livy, the closer for the Laureates, is warming up.

The pitching coach for the Laureates, Robert “Bobby” Kennedy, slowly walks out to the mound.

The Laureates Gioia stays in!

Gioia faces Gamers pinch hitter James Whitcomb Riley—who also walks!

The New Formalists are known for being too careful sometimes, Marla.

Marla Muse: That’s two walks in a row for Gioia. Reagan’s got to take him out now!  Come on Ronnie!

Out of the dugout comes manager Ronald Reagan. That’s all for Gioia.

In comes Livy, and he will face Tony Hoagland, pinch hitting for Coward.  There are two on and no outs for the Gamers!

Strike three!  Got him swinging…

John Betjeman, centerfielder for the Gamers is now at the plate (bit of an irony, Betjeman is a poet laureate of England—his amusing verses are why he signed with Griffin’s team)…

Oh! Livy’s fastball goes right by Betjeman, a swinging strike three.

Two down.

Here’s Billy Collins for the Gamers. Remember, Collins scored the go ahead run for the Gamers back in the seventh.

Livy delivers…

Billy Collins hits it sharply to Teasdale at second…she’s got it! Nice play! Over to Van Morrison (defensive replacement for Dickens at first,) and that’s it!

Laureates 5, Gamers 4!

The Laureates go to 2-0, as they prevail again in Los Angeles!

Dana Gioia earns the win. Livy picks up the save.

“Another one in the bag,” said a smiling Ronald Reagan after the game.

Is that really Ronald Reagan?  It’s difficult to see. Is that him?

Marla Muse: That’s him.

Tomorrow it will be James Tate of the 0-2 Gamers against the 2-0 Laureates Samuel Johnson.

This is Scarriet Poetry Baseball News.

 

THE LAUREATES FROM DUBLIN VISIT LOS ANGELES TO PLAY MERV GRIFFIN’S GAMERS

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The Laureates are owned by Nahum Tate, appointed Poet Laureate of England in 1692 upon the death of Thomas Shadwell, the second Poet Laureate of England, who followed John Dryden. Tate, like Shadwell, wore one of those giant wigs. Henry Purcell used Tate’s play as the libretto for Dido and Aeneas.  Tate’s best-seller was his happy-ending version of King Lear. He was born into a Puritan family in Dublin, and after receiving a degree from Trinity College in Dublin he became a working writer in London.

Now the Laureate, with his Laureates, flies to Los Angeles, to play Merv Griffin’s Gamers, in the Gamers home opener.

The Laureates play in the not-so-Glorious League, with the controversial Pistols—associated with Eva Braun, featuring T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Ted Hughes; the pitching-rich Banners (Dante, Shelley, Virgil); and two solid, British-owned teams—Queen Victoria’s Carriages and Lord Russell’s The Sun.

The Gamers are in the People’s League, with the Cobras of Kolkata, the Mist of Tokyo, the Waves of Beijing, and another California team, television producer Dick Wolf’s the Laws.

Both teams feel they have a good chance of winning their respective divisions.

Merv Griffin has a loose and fun-loving team; Noel Coward leads off at shortstop, John Betjeman, Poet Laureate of England himself, from 1972 to 1984, plays center field and bats second; Billy Collins in left, Eugene Ionesco, the Absurdist playwright, bats cleanup and plays catcher; Thomas Hood, a mock-heroic ballad genius, at second, Tristan Tzara, first base, Ogden Nash in right, Joe Green, the third baseman, and pitching for the Gamers, Lewis Carroll.

Literature can be light, yet serious. This might describe the Gamers.

Or serious, yet light. Here is the starting lineup of the Laureates:

Sara Teasdale 2b; Oliver Goldsmith cf; Alexandre Dumas lf; Charles Dickens 1b; Aphra Behn rf; Mirza Ghalib 3b; Boris Pasternak c; JK Rowling ss, and pitching for the Laureates, Edmund Burke.

And finally, “light” can have a thousand meanings.

Edmund Burke, the Laureates starter, said he was confident he would be able to analyze the “lightness” of the Gamers lineup, and turn in a satisfactory performance.  ” I can’t be pedantic; I can’t leave the ball up in the strike zone. As long as I’m around the strike zone, and go right after these guys, and let my defense play behind me, I have no worries.”

The defense behind him isn’t bad.

Ghalib has some wit of his own at third; the women up the middle, Sara Teasdale and JK Rowling, and Dickens at first round out a solid infield. Meanwhile, Dumas, the mysterious Aphra Behn, and the popular and well-liked Goldsmith make for a speedy and daring outfield.

Lewis Carroll looked at the ground and whistled under his breath when asked how would do in the season opener for the Gamers.

The defense behind Carroll is adequate: Tzara at first, Hood at second, Coward at short, and Joe Green at third in the infield; in the outfield, Betjeman is in center, Billy Collins patrols left, and Ogden Nash holds down right field.

The Dublin Laureates are in green.  The LA Gamers are in blue.

And there’s a huge crowd.  This will definitely help the crowd-pleasing Gamers.  But as Marla Muse has pointed out, the Laureates also bring the entertainment.

Noel Coward homers in the bottom of the first off Edmund Burke’s first pitch.

It’s 1-0 Gamers!

Betjeman drills one up the middle. Runner on first. No outs. Burke keeps Betjeman close. Billy Collins flies out. Ionesco walks on four pitches.  Ronald Reagan, the manager, saunters out to the mound to calm Burke down. Thomas Hood batting. A one-hopper to short. Rowling to Teasdale. And back to first, Dickens digs out the low throw. Double play! And the Dublin Laureates are out of the inning.

Meanwhile Lewis Carroll sets down the first nine batters he sees. Change-ups keep the team from Dublin off-balance. He makes a few hitters look bad, especially with his knuckle-change.

Mirza Ghalib and JK Rowling finally break through for the Laureates, as they get a couple of runs in the fifth.

But it’s not Edmund Burke’s day. Lewis Carroll and Ogden Nash knock in runs; Ionesco homers.

After seven, the Gamers lead 7-2.  Dana Gioia is now pitching for the Laureates.

In the 8th, Mirza Ghalib takes Carroll deep to make it 7-3, but the Gamers come back in the bottom of the frame against Gioia—Lewis Carroll lifts a pop fly home run right down the line in left, and it’s 8-3 for Los Angeles.

What a great day for Lewis Carroll! Merv Griffin has to be happy with the Gamers’ opening day performance.

Charles Bernstein takes over for Lewis Carroll in the top of the ninth. Rod McKuen replaces Billy Collins in left.

JK Rowling reaches. Verdi, pinch hitting, strikes out. Teasdale singles, Oliver Goldsmith hits a pitch out of the strike zone and singles in Rowling, it’s 8-4. Dumas hits a perfect double-play ball to Noel Coward at short.  He bobbles it!  Everybody’s safe. Dickens singles, and it’s 8-5. Menander relieves Bernstein. Aphra Behn batting. She’s 0 for 3 today.

The bases are loaded.  No one is leaving Merv Griffin Park. The Gamers fans are holding their breath.

Aphra Behn swings.

There’s a fly ball, hit pretty deep….

McKuen is looking up…

Home run!

The Laureates have gone ahead 9-8!

We go to the bottom of the ninth, Livy pitching for the Laureates.

Betjeman grounds out. Rod McKuen grounds out. Ionesco doubles. Thomas Hood up.

Livy deals 2-2, Hood swings…there’s a fly to right…

Aphra Behn goes back…back…

And takes it at the warning track!

The Laureates win.

Los Angeles groans.

Merv Griffin kicks something.

Noel Coward is not laughing.

Third baseman Joe Green puts his arm around Menander.

Trailing 8-3 going to the ninth, the Laureates have defeated the Gamers by a run, on a grand slam by Aphra Behn.

After showering, and throwing on a dress, she tells Marla Muse how it feels.

This is Scarriet Poetry News.

 

SCARRIET POETRY BASEBALL—HERE WE GO!

Lord Byron In Albanian Dress - 1813 Painting by War Is Hell Store

George Byron in a pensive mood, before taking part in the opening day Scarriet baseball ceremonies.

Happy Easter!

Scarriet has expanded and restructured its baseball league!!

Gone the 2 leagues of 20 teams led by 20 American poets—Eliot, Pound, Frost, Poe, Williams, Stevens, Moore, Dickinson, Millay, Jorie Graham, Ginsberg, Ransom, Cummings, Whittier, Whitman, Bryant, Longfellow, James Lowell, Ashbery, and Emerson.

Now poets like Emerson, Eliot and Poe can be player/managers—to contribute to their teams both at the plate and in the field.

The field is more international—Scarriet Poetry Baseball is now 25 historical teams from all over the world.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The gods and muses must be pleased with our ten years of Poetry March Madness and our first Poetry Baseball season, where poetry is worshiped through time and space in a manner which no one has ever seen.

Fortunately one of the Muses has always been here to help us, Marla Muse.

Marla Muse: They are indeed pleased, Tom!

You have spoken to the other muses who live in other realms, in those shadowy timeless realms where time is one and poetry lights up suns distantly—

Marla Muse: Yes, and they approve! The stars in the heavens love you more than you know… I would rather die than see poetry die.

This baseball season is different. Mysterious and wealthy owners throughout time and space are bidding, some in secret, for players to fill their rosters.

In the Great Emperor League, we have the Broadcasters. Their motto is “Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name” and they feature Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison, Gregory Corso, Anne Sexton, Bobby Burns, Omar Khayyam, Rilke, Coleridge, Leopardi, Anacreon, Sappho, and Ingrid Jonker.  They are rumored to be owned and funded by a business group led by Federico Fellini, and their ballpark is in Rimini, Italy.

These ballclubs are timeless, in every sense of the word (these teams compete, with actual statistics, where chance unfolds out of space, out of time) but real money, blood money, purchases these players.  We know JP Morgan, for instance, wanted Shakespeare and bid heavily to get him.

The Pistols, who play in Berlin, are said to be associated with Eva Braun, but this cannot be confirmed; one older muse claims to have overheard Eva say, “I take care of this. Adolf is too busy talking to bankers and architects. He doesn’t have time for poetry.” But honestly we cannot say who owns the Pistols.

Nahum Tate, owner of the Laureates, for those who do not know, re-wrote a popular King Lear with a happy ending (after Shakespeare’s death when, for a long period, the Bard was out of fashion,) and was chosen as Poet Laureate of England in 1692. 

Dick Wolf produces Law & Order on television, and appears to have a controlling interest in the Laws, playing out of Santa Barbara.  He’s got Aristotle, Lord Bacon, and Horace.

John Rockefeller opened his purse to get Walt Whitman, and he thinks that will be enough to win a championship.  We don’t know.  We do know baseball is all about pitching.  All you need is a few good arms which dominate, defense behind them, and some clubhouse chemistry, and not too many injuries. It’s a crap shoot, in many ways, and this is why Rockefeller grumbled he wasn’t going to waste money on superstars who hit home runs and have a high batting average. He’s probably right.  A team that wins 2-1 is better than a team that wins 7-4, by pure mathematics, even though the former score wins by 1 and the latter by 3 runs. It’s the ratio that counts.  2-1 = 2. 7-4 = 1.7  This simple reason is why defense wins in every sport. Rockefeller is using this formula, and the oil baron was also advised that you can’t buy a pennant—throwing money at sluggers doesn’t do any good; it’s 90% pitching and luck. Just put a a poet with critical depth on the hill and three good versifiers in the infield and sit back.

Some of the rosters might have some question marks, but that’s what happens in a free market.  It’s an historical fact that Longfellow did meet Queen Victoria in person. But no one expected him to play for her!

And W.H. Auden just “wanted to play for Napoleon, I don’t why.”

Marla Muse: I can’t wait for the season to begin!  Spring is in the air! Around Rome, and in those still fairer isles… Let’s forget about plagues and the starvation for awhile. Songs are going to sing.

Here then, are the Teams, their Mottoes, and the preliminary rosters—they are always changing (there’s a big minor leagues!)

~~~~~~

THE GREAT EMPEROR LEAGUE

Federico Fellini, Rimini  The Broadcasters [Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name]
-Mick Jagger, Sappho, Gregory Corso, Charles Bukowski, Paul Valery, Anne Sexton, Omar Khayyam, Robert Burns, Ben Jonson, Coleridge, Jim Morrison, Edmund Waller, Nabokov, Rilke, Giacomo Leopardi, Anacreon, Ingrid Jonker, Swinburne

Napoleon, Corsica The Codes [Let the more loving one be me]
-W.H. Auden, Homer, Hesiod, Racine, John Peale Bishop, Edmund Wilson, Mina Loy, William Logan, Irving Layton, Villon, Jean-Baptiste Tati-Loutard, Wole Soyinka, Jules Laforgue, Derek Walcott, Callimachus, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius

King Philip II, Madrid The Crusaders [If in my thought I have magnified the Father above the Son, let Him have no mercy on me]
-Saint Ephrem, G.K. Chesterton, Tolkien, Thomas Aquinas, Hilaire Beloc, John Paul II, Saint Theresa of Lisieux, Joyce Kilmer, Saint John of the Cross, Mary Angela Douglas, Anne Bradstreet, Phillis Wheatley, Countee Cullen, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Aeschulus

Charles X, Paris  The Goths [Every great enterprise takes its first step in faith]
-A.W. Schlegel, Baudelaire, Goethe, Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater, Madame de Stael, Chateaubriand, Sophocles, George Herbert, Heinrich Heine, Robert Herrick, Clement Marot, Ronsard, Saint-Beuve, Catulus, Thomas Gray, John Clare, Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Theophile Gautier

Pope Julius II, Rome  The Ceilings [They also serve who only stand and wait]
-Milton, Michelangelo, William Blake, Robert Lowell, Petrarch, G.E. Lessing, John Dryden, Klopstock, GE Horne, Ferdowsi, Ariosto, Luis de Camoens, Swift, Tulsidas, Edmund Spenser, Kwesi Brew, Pindar, Euripides

~~~~~

THE GLORIOUS LEAGUE

Eva Braun, Berlin The Pistols [A life subdued to its instrument]
-Ted Hughes, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, W.B. Yeats, Ford Madox Ford, James Joyce, Hugh Kenner, Wyndham Lewis, DH Lawrence, Alistair Crowley, George Santayana, F.T. Marinetti, Giacomo Balla, Richard Wagner, Jung

Queen Victoria, London The Carriages [Theirs but to do and die]
-Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett, Robert Browning, Longfellow, Philip Larkin, Sylvia Plath, Hazlitt, Paul McCartney, Geoffrey Hill, Henry James, Andrew Marvel, John Suckling, Virginia Woolf, Theocritus

Lorenzo de’ Medici, Florence The Banners [The One remains, the many change and pass]
-Percy Shelley, Dante, William Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, DG Rossetti, John Keats, Marlowe, Guido Cavalcanti, Glyn Maxwell, Ben Mazer, Friedrich Schiller, Thomas Moore, Philodemus, Virgil, Stefan George, Boccaccio, Leonardo da Vinci

P.M. Lord John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, Devon The Sun [A good indignation brings out all one’s powers]
-Emerson, Horace Walpole, Thomas Carlyle, Thoreau, Wordsworth, Rudyard Kipling, Aldous Huxley, Matthew Arnold, Sir John Davies, Margaret Fuller, Robert Southey, Marilyn Chin, Joy Harjo, Basil Bunting, Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye

Nahum Tate, Dublin  The Laureates [Luck is bestowed even on those who don’t have hands]
-Ghalib, Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Peacock, Leigh Hunt, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Sara Teasdale, Pasternak, Louis Simpson, Dana Gioia, Oliver Goldsmith, Edmund Burke, Aphra Behn, Rod McKuen, JK Rowling

~~~~~

THE SECRET SOCIETY LEAGUE

Harvey Weinstein, Westport CT The Actors [I am no hackney for your rod]
-John Skelton, Langston Hughes, Henry Ward Beecher, Chaucer, Amiri Baraka, Lord Byron, Hafiz, Thomas Nashe, Marilyn Hacker, Petronius, Gwendolyn Brooks, Jim Carroll, Lucille Clifton, Etheridge Knight, Audre Lorde, Jimmy Page, Andre Gide

David Lynch, Alexandria VA  The Strangers [So still is day, it seems like night profound]
-Jones Very, Alexander Pope, William Burroughs, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Robert Graves, Laura Riding, Weldon Kees, Berryman, Mary Shelley, Rabelais, Charles Simic, Eric Satie, Labid, Roethke, Camille Paglia, HP Lovecraft, Nietzsche, Samuel Beckett

P.T. Barnum, Fairfield CT  The Animals [Majesty and love are incompatible]
-Ovid, Gerald Stern, Robinson Jeffers, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Seamus Heaney, Jack Spicer, Kay Ryan, Leslie Scalapino, Mary Oliver, W S Merwin, Melville, Camille Saint Saens, Edward Lear, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Gerard de Nerval, Robert Bly

J.P. Morgan, Madison Avenue  The War [The fire-eyed maid of smoky war all hot and bleeding will we offer them]
-Shakespeare, Louis Untermeyer, Apollinaire, T.E. Hulme, Richard Aldington, Rupert Brooke, Sir Walter Scott, Philip Sidney, James Dickey, Harry Crosby, Keith Douglas, Wilfred Owen, Howard Nemerov, Stephen Crane, Erich Remarque, Alan Seeger

Ben Franklin  Philadelphia  The Secrets [We come in the age’s most uncertain hour and sing an American tune]
-Paul Simon, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Edgar Poe, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, F. Scott Key, Cole Porter, Plato, Hawthorne, Pushkin, Walter Raleigh, Moliere, William Cullen Bryant, Amy Lowell, Emma Lazarus, Carl Sandburg, Pete Seeger, Natasha Trethewey, Amelia Welby, Woody Guthrie, JD Salinger, John Prine, Kanye West, Stephen Cole, Bob Tonucci

~~~~~

THE PEOPLE’S LEAGUE

Sajyajit Ray, Calcutta The Cobras [Is it true that your love traveled alone through ages and worlds in search of me?]
-Tagore, Allen Ginsberg, Jeet Thayil, Rupi Kaur, Anand Thakore, Dhoomil, G.M. Muktibodh, Rumi, A.K. Ramanujan, Samar Sen, Daipayan Nair, R. Meenakshi, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Hermann Hesse, Persius, George Harrison, Adil Jussawalla, Tishani Doshi, Sushmita Gupta, Vikram Seth

Kurosawa,  Tokyo  The Mist [In Kyoto, hearing the cuckoo, I long for Kyoto]
-Basho, Hilda Doolittle, Robert Duncan, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, D.T. Suzuki, Yone Noguchi, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Kobayashi Issa, Lady Izumi Shikibu, Cid Corman, Sadakichi Hartmann, Heraclitus, Richard Brautigan

Chairman Mao, Beijing  The Waves [Death gives separation repose. Without death, grief only sharpens]
-Tu Fu, Lucretius, Karl Marx, Voltaire, Rousseau, Guy Burgess, Amiri Baraka, Brecht, Neruda, Li Po, Li He, Bai Juyi, Lu Xun, Guo Moruo, Ho Chi-Fang, Yen Chen, Billie Holiday, Khomieni, Lu Ji , Wang Wei, Lao Tzu, Gary B. Fitzgerald, Wendell Berry

Dick Wolf, Santa Barbara  The Laws [In poetry everything is clear and definite]
-Ajip Rosidi, Aristotle, John Donne, Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon, Donald Justice, Anna Akhmatova, Thomas Hardy, Thomas Campion, Frederick Seidel, Antonio Machado, Mark Van Doren, David Lehman, Lord Bacon, Martial, ML Rosenthal, Horace, Gottfried Burger, Yvor Winters

Merv Griffin, Los Angeles  The Gamers  [He thought he saw an elephant that practiced on a fife]
-Lewis Carroll, James Tate, E.E. Cummings, Tony Hoagland, Ogden Nash, Billy Collins, Eugene Field, W.S. Gilbert, Thomas Hood, Noel Coward, X.J. Kennedy, John Betjeman, Wendy Cope, Tristan Tzara, Heather McHugh, Charles Bernstein, Jack Spicer, James Whitcomb Riley, Joe Green, Menander, Morgenstern

~~~~~

THE MODERN LEAGUE

Pamela Harriman, Arden NY The Dreamers [not the earth, the sea, none of it was enough for her, without me]
-Sharon Olds, Edna Millay, George Dillon, Floyd Dell, Dorothy Parker, Stanley Burnshaw, Richard Lovelace, Stevie Smith, Louis MacNeice, Louise Bogan, Louise Gluck, Jack Gilbert, Marge Piercy, Carolyn Forche, Muriel Rukeyser, Jean Valentine, May Swenson, Propertius, Anais Nin, Simone de Beauvoir

Andy Warhol, East 47th St The Printers [the eye, seeking to sink, is rebuffed by a much-worked dullness, the patina of a rag, that oily Vulcan uses, wiping up.]
-John Updike, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, James Merrill, Hart Crane, Lorca, Thom Gunn, Stephen Burt, Frank Bidart, Mark Rothko, Marjorie Perloff, John Quinn, Duchamp, Aristophanes, Christopher Isherwood, Andre Breton, Lou Reed, John Cage

John D. Rockefeller, Chicago The Buyers [Have you no thought, O dreamer, that it may be all maya, illusion?]
-Walt Whitman, Alcaeus, Edgar Lee Masters, Kenneth Rexroth, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Helen Vendler, Jorie Graham, Franz Wright, Mark Twain, Robert Penn Warren, Paul Engle, William Alexander Percy, Richard Hugo, Carl Philips, Harriet Monroe, Duke Ellington, Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac, Sigmund Freud

A. C. Barnes, Philadelphia  The Crash [But for some futile things unsaid I should say all is done for us]
-Allen Tate, John Gould Fletcher, John Crowe Ransom, John Dewey, Cleanth Brooks, Donald Davidson, Merrill Moore, Walter Pater, Wittgenstein, Andrew Nelson Lytle, Archilochus, Anne Waldman, Stanley Kunitz, Jackson Pollock, WC Williams, Luigi Russolo, Stephen Spender, Richard Howard

Steven Spielberg, Phoenix AZ  The Universe [I know why the caged bird sings]
-Maya Angelou, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Bob Dylan, Margaret Atwood, Paul Celan, Czeslaw Milosz, Delmore Schwartz, Randall Jarrell, Anthony Hecht, Galway Kinnell, Philip Levine, Larry Levis, Claudia Rankine, Harold Bloom, Alice Walker, James Wright, Juvenal, Chuck Berry, Stephen King

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Ballpark Road Trips in Review: 2018 - Ben's Biz Blog

 

 

FINAL ROUND ONE PROSE BRACKET BATTLE IN MADNESS: DICKENS VS. HAWTHORNE

Image result for nathaniel hawthorne

The young Nathaniel Hawthorne. He aged quickly.

Empires are obsessed with money.

Their colonies are obsessed with sex.

The greatest author of the British Empire, Charles Dickens, invented Scrooge.

The first great prose writer in America, Nathaniel Hawthorne, wrote a famous book about adultery, The Scarlet Letter.

Religion handles the problem of sexual misconduct—the poor, with their suffering, often find their only real pleasure in sex; the rich have many pleasures, and sex might be one of them: money buys all.

Dickens was immensely popular in England, (the first serialized fiction writer; like TV before TV) but due to international copyright laws, his works were published at no cost in the United States—Edgar Poe complained vociferously of this, because U.S. authors were slighted, since American publishers would rather print British works for free than take a chance on an American author.  Poe, gentleman that he was, cared for money, fame, and country (he did not write about sex).  Dickens agreed with Poe, and on a tour of America in 1842, Dickens collected and delivered to the U.S. Congress signatures of American authors who were against the international copyright laws which hurt both Dickens and Poe.

Hawthorne was a strange, reclusive man, whose ancestor was a Salem witch trial judge, and he married an artistic, reclusive woman.  They did have three children, and Hawthorne was certainly a man of the world, but his fiction deals with madness and secret desires.

Dickens wrote from the Christian, domestic center of an expanding worldwide empire and his morals were sunny and simple—despite London nearly ruling the world, London was full of the wretchedly poor, and Dickens wrote for them.

And this line sums up Dickens quite well:

A loving heart is the truest wisdom

When Hawthorne was a boy living in Salem, two events darkened his life: first, his sailor father died of yellow fever at sea, and second, president Thomas Jefferson imposed a shipping boycott—a response to Great Britain’s piratical belligerence in the early 19th century—which crushed maritime Salem’s economy.

Hawthorne died when the American Civil War was still raging. Pictures of him in his 50s (he died at 59) show a very old man. He was first recognized as a great author by Poe, with some reservations, since Hawthorne belonged to the Transcendentalist clique Poe disliked; Poe theorized brilliantly on the short story while reviewing Hawthorne’s tales—the Scarlet Letter was published after Poe’s death, and there’s whispers Hawthorne’s most famous work was based on the rumored affair of Poe and Fanny Osgood.

Hawthorne wrote, not for an Empire, but for an incestuous, puritan village.

Dickens’ characters had funny names.  Hawthorne’s characters had funny souls.

Here is Hawthorne’s line in the March Madness contest:

She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.

Who is the greater genius?

The soaring, sentimental Dickens?

Or the burrowing, burning Hawthorne?

Purgatory puffing a pipe?

Or hell awake under a stone?

 

 

 

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