Posted by: Namar | September 17, 2011

benet and baseball

The history of the world is littered with empires who, through their strength, left behind many gifts for us to enjoy.  But just as many wasted the power the wielded.

“We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom.”
-Stephen Vincent Benet, Litany for Dictatorships, 1935

Benet (1898–1943) knew of power and its abuse, experiencing first-hand ugly beating by schoolmates who bullied him because he preferred books to athletics. At 17, he published his first book, Five Men and Pompey (1915), a collection of verse, and featured American Names:

"I have fallen in love with American names,
The sharp names that never get fat,
The snakeskin titles of mining claims,
The plumed war bonnet of Medicine Hat,
Tucson and Deadwood and Lost Mule Flat....

I shall not rest quiet in Montparnasse.
I shall not lie easy at Winchelsea.
You may bury my body in Sussex grass,
You may bury my tongue at Champmédy.
I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass.
Bury my heart at Wounded Knee."

At the very heart of America’s obsession with baseball is a love of nicknames. Benet would have appreciated the view of America’s pastime taken by William “Sugar” Wallace in his poem Anthem.

The Georgia Peach,
The Fordham Flash,
The Flying Dutchman. Cot.
The People's Cherce, The Blazer.
Crash.
The Staten Island Scot.
Skeeter, Scooter,
Pepper,
Duster,
Ebba, Bama, Boomer, Buster...

The Little Professor, The
Iron Horse. Cap.
Iron Man, Iron Mike, Iron Hands. Hutch.
Jap, The Mad
Russian, Irish, Swede. Nap.
Germany, Frenchy, Big Serb, Dutch,
Turk. Tuck,
Tug, Twig.
Spider, Birdy, Rabbit, Pig.

———————————————————————————————–

vs.

Todays game: the Philadelphia Giants come out to play the Rockford Peaches at Elysium Field East.

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