KOLKATA COBRAS SENDING GANDHI BACK TO BULLPEN?

Rupi Kaur Is the Writer of the Decade | The New Republic

Rupi Kaur is the manager of the 8-8 Cobras in the Peoples League

Satyajit Ray has a dilemma. His Cobras are pitching and hitting well, but they’re only winning half their games, and they’re losing close games.

Everyone knows this is the fault of the bullpen—so do the Cobras use their best starting pitcher, Mahatma Gandhi, as a relief pitcher?

“I’ve talked to Gandhi, and he will do whatever we ask to help the Cobras win,” said Cobras manager Rupi Kaur.

Pitching coach V.S. Naipal put it this way, “a relief pitcher can be used almost every day, so the fans will see more of Gandhi, and he will really fill a need. We’re not competitive enough in the late innings. We’re losing the tight contests.”

Rabindranith Tagore, the no. 1 starter, has been solid, but only has one win. Rumi has logged a lot of innings as the no. 2 starter, and has come away with three wins; Gandhi is 2-1, Hesse is 1-2, with a shutout.  Not bad.

Vikram Seth leads the club with four home runs, Jadoo Akhtar and Gajanan Muktibodh each have 3 round-trippers; Allen Ginsberg and George Harrison both have two. The Cobras lead the Peoples Division in homers and runs scored.

But here’s the problem.

Ray’s team was counting on Kabir Das as their stopper.  He’s 0-3, with one save, and a 5.08 ERA.

A poem that doesn’t end well is a failure.

The only win in relief for the Cobras is by Nissim Ezekiel—he finished a 3-0 win began by Gandhi.

Krishnamurti and Faiz A. Faiz have not been effective.

The Cobras are trying to sign Salman Rushdie, Raja Rao and Meera Nair.  But these writers are busy.

Rupi Kaur feels a dominating closer will mean a championship.

But that’s easier said than done.

Naipal, again: “How many pitchers can enter a tie game with runners on, and throws strikes and get people out, with no room for error, on a consistent basis?  That’s rare.  But when you find two or three pitchers who can do that, it picks up the whole team.”

~~~

John Lennon leads the entire Peoples Division with five home runs for the Tokyo Mist. Hilda Doolittle has slugged three homers, and Yoko Ono has two.

But the Mist also have bullpen woes.

Kobe Abe is 1-2, with a couple of blown saves, and D.T. Suzuki is 0-2.

The starting four for the Mist—Basho, Issa, Mishima (who replaced the injured Heraclitus) and Noguchi—have all pitched well, but the late innings have not been good to Akira Kurosawa’s team.

Pitching coach Mieko Kawakami expressed confidence in her relief pitchers: “We shouldn’t panic. We have good pitchers and we should let them pitch. Mitsuyo Kakuta and Takaaki Yoshimoto are both healthy now. That will help.”

Manager Eiji Yoshikawa: “Our team is fantastic. We need everyone to produce. I’m not particularly worried about the bullpen. This game is about streaks and bad bounces. I agree with Mitsuyo. We need to be patient. The season is still young.”

The Mist flew into Beijing and got swept by Chairman Mao’s Waves.  In the first game, the Mist put up 14 runs, but lost 19-14. Then the Waves beat them by one run in the next three games.  “That was agonizing,” Kurosawa said. “But we beat the Waves 3 out of 4 in Tokyo.  We were 7-5, and feeling pretty good about ourselves, but we didn’t focus in China.”  After that series, the Mist fell to 7-9, and last place.

~~~

Chairman Mao’s Beijing Waves are in first, and they, too, were also having bullpen problems.

Khomeini, their relief ace, is currently 0-1, with 2 blown saves.

But just 10 days before the crucial series in Beijing against the Mist, the Waves signed a new pitcher.

Confucius.

First, Confucius started in the place of injured starter Voltaire, and pitched a complete game 6-1 victory.

Then, pitching against the Mist, he was the winner out of the bullpen in the series’ games three and four, won by the Waves, 2-1 and 6-5, putting Mao’s team in first place.

“We may have our new closer,” said manager and Twitter guy Jack Dorsey.

“We’re so glad we signed Confucius,” gushed pitching coach Nancy Pelosi.

On offense, the first place Waves are led by Karl Marx (4 homers), Li Po (4 homers) and Tu Fu (3 homers).

~~~

Dick Wolf’s Laws are an interesting team. Call them scrappy. They are 8-8, tied with the Cobras in the thick of the Peoples Division race, and their top starters Aristotle and Francis Bacon have no wins. Horace and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr, the no. 3 and 4 starters, are 1-2 and 1-1.  But out of the bullpen the Laws are 5-0!  Mark Van Doren is 2-0, M.L. Rosenthal is 1-0, Yvor Winters is 1-0, and Ring Lardner Jr. is 1-0.

Martial, the Roman poet of the social epigram (witty gossip as “law”) leads his team with 4 homers. Donald Hall and John Donne have each hit 2.

~~~

The Gamers are a California team, like the Laws. The LA Gamers, owned by Merv Griffin, are in last place with the Mist—they are both 7-9.  Billy Collins leads the Gamers with 4 homers. No other player has more than one.  Ernest Thayer (author of “Casey At the Bat”) has a homer for the Gamers off the bench. Also homering for the Gamers: X. J. Kenndy, Noel Coward, Dorothy Parker, Thomas Hood, James Whitcomb Riley, and Joe Green.

Lewis Carroll, their ace, has won two. Menander has won two games in relief.  Lorne Michaels, the pitching coach, and Bob Hope, the manager, had nothing but good things to say about their club. “We can win, and we will win,” Hope said.

~~~

STANDINGS

The Waves  10-6  —75 Runs, 65 Allowed

The Cobras 8-8 —80 Runs, 67 Allowed

The Laws 8-8 —62 Runs, 76 Allowed

The Mist 7-9 —70 Runs, 79 Allowed

The Gamers 7-9 —59 Runs, 65 Allowed

LEADERS

WINS

Confucius, Waves 3-0, 1.05 ERA
Lucretius, Waves 3-0, 2.33 ERA
Rumi, Cobras 3-0, 3.40 ERA

Lewis Carroll, Gamers 2-1, 3.11
Gandhi, Cobras 2-1, 3.67 ERA
Issa, Mist 2-2, 4.80 ERA

RELIEF

Van Doren, Laws 2-0, 2.18 ERA
Menander, Gamers 2-2, 2.44 ERA

HRS

John Lennon, Mist 5

Vikram Seth, Cobras 4
Martial, Laws 4
Billy Collins, Gamers 4
Marx, Waves 4
Li Po, Waves 4

Scarriet Poetry Baseball News

 

 

JUST RHYME PLATO WITH POTATO: THE EPIGRAM

Lyric poetry was born from graffiti of Classical Greece.

Lyric poetry was spawned by the epigram, and concision, the memorable, the august, the mournful, inhabited the lyric soul by necessity, due in large part to the physical atmosphere surrounding the funerary monuments upon which epigrams were inscribed.

Ekphrasis lives in the epigram: its meaning, ‘to write on,’ to physically inscribe, chimes with ‘to write on (about) someone or something.  The surface, as much as the subject, determines its source.

A rhyme, a couplet, is a great way to be brief and memorable:

Go tell the Spartans, passerby,
That here, obedient to their laws, we lie.

Inscribed on a monument to the Greco-Persian wars by Simonides (b. 556 BC), this is a war poem, just as much as the Iliad is.

Let’s face it: everyone wants to write something that is remembered.  You might write an epic, and one line of it is recalled; or you might write one memorable epigram among thousands; in either case it’s an epic task.

But it doesn’t have to rhyme; brevity is all.

Pound’s “make it new,” (1934) a stupid phrase, but one, nonetheless, that became famous, is a mere 9 letters in length, and is beaten out only by the famous, “Odi et amo,” (I hate and love) by Catullus, which is only 8 letters.

Since life is short, a short poem can be successful for that very reason; think of the popular elegiac trope, ‘oh life is short! drink today!’ as symposium and mournfulness mingles.

The Romans brought satire and obscenity to the august Greek epigram, and the Roman poet Martial (40 AD) is known as the “original insult comic:”

Long poems can have unified strength,
But shit, your couplet, Cosconi, has too much length.

This critical spirit, alive to measurement and unity, lived in all eras of poetry, from Ancient to Romantic, until it died in the looseness of the modern era.

Shakespeare’s works are bursting with epigrams:

For as the sun is daily new and old,
So is my love still telling what is told.

One of our favorite epigrams is Pope’s

I am His Highness’ dog at Kew.
Pray tell me sir, whose dog are you?

And William Blake has many wonderful ones:

A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent

The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They’d immediately go out

Some are born to sweet delight
Some are born to endless night

We are led to believe a lie,
When we see not thro’ the eye

One simply cannot imagine any of these coming from the pen of a Jorie Graham or a John Ashbery.

Coleridge called the epigram a “dwarfish whole.”  The idea of the “whole” seems to be what irks the loose and open moderns.

The early 20th century had its wits—Dorothy Parker, J.V. Cunningham, Ogden Nash—but as we move closer to our era, compressed wit and wisdom seems to have eluded our poets.

John Crowe Ransom, another early 20th century writer who attempted to be witty,  wrote:

In all the good Greek of Plato
I lack my roast beef and potato.

But like “Make it new” and Williams’ silly wheel barrow, this has no wit whatsoever: Plato was the most lifestyle-conscious, political science, ‘meat-and-potatoes’ philosopher ever, a superficial view of his ‘forms,’ notwithstanding.

Just give us, “Little strokes fell great oaks” by Benjamin Franklin.  And writing epigrams of an afternoon, we believe even Scarriet can do better:

Hart Crane was totally insane.

Robert Lowell was a broken bowl.

Sylvia Plath fell victim to wrath.

Delmore Schwartz never wore shorts.

Appearance is all, even in the depths.

Just enough hunger prevents insanity.

Beautiful women are wrong in love and right in everything else.

Boredom is the devil’s only weapon.

Feminism wants one thing: freedom from love.

A woman is pretty until she is loved; then she is beautiful.

A woman is ambitious in love; when she is loved, cautious.

A man is cautious until he is loved; then he’s ambitious.

A man is beautiful when loving; when he is loved, pretty.

We have two choices in life: sleep or poetry.

Death has this advantage: it is the only thing that’s not complex.

There are 3 types of poets: One puts emotion in poems, one leaves it out; the genius does both.

Parent to child, lover to beloved want to be friends—but cannot.

Music exists for one reason: to add body to poetry.

The right context is just a way of saying the wrong context is no context at all.

Public speaking is the art of joking while serious.

Good sex for couples is based on one thing: whether it is before or after dinner.

Desire hopes; love knows.

Love can cool desire as it increases it.

Friendship is love’s runway: smooth on takeoff, rough on landing.

Nature’s not right just because the ingredients on the box are wrong.

Nature wishes to create us and kill us: people tend to do this, too.

Why is life tragic?  Nature wants more, humanity, less.

The endless dilemma: guilty for caring too much, guilty for caring too little.

All successful endeavors—moral or not—have one thing in common: the future.

Literature is politics with the politics put tastefully out of sight.

The greatest error the mind makes is thinking truth is for it—and not the heart.

Betrayal wounds hearts, but sensation kills more.

Depth is all, even on surfaces.

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