Hello again and welcome back to another installment. It has been a fairly quiet week or thereabouts since I last checked in. We played an up and down series on the road in Bowie followed by another up and down series against Harrisburg, but managed a 5-4 record on a road trip featuring nine games in five days. Obviously we would prefer to have been a bit more consistent in our play and taken another game from Bowie, thus winning both series, but with a six game lead on second place and eight on a playoff spot a winning road trip in any fashion is at the least an acceptable outcome. What stings a little more was losing a three game series to second place Reading at home, but we’ll have an opportunity to pick up some quality wins on our upcoming three day road trip to Erie before getting a brief reprieve over the all-star break. My individual performance has, in a fashion representative of my overall performance this season, been a bit of a mixed bag. I threw 3.2 innings across three appearances and while I have finally begun producing strikeouts in a manner more consistent with my typical performance, I have still been too streaky throwing strikes and consequently I have not been overly efficient.
Off the field there hasn’t really been a lot to report. I’ve had a pretty quiet week with my most notable accomplishments of note being the finishing of a number of the books that have been queuing on my bookshelf during the season. Other than that I haven’t done much other than finally getting around to stretching a painting I bought earlier in the season and decided that (in a continuation of my previous art-related rant) I would try my hand at making some “art” of my own just to prove to myself how fairly ridiculous some of that stuff is. However, since I really have no desire to display said terrible “art” I am currently at a bit of a loss for what to do with it. eBay maybe? Anyway, I’ll check back in after the all-star break and let you know what sort of hijinks I get into on my off days. Until then, I will revive my habit of leaving you with a poem.
Another Time by W. H. Auden
For us like any other fugitive,
Like the numberless flowers that cannot number
And all the beasts that need not remember,
It is today in which we live.
So many try to say Not Now,
So many have forgotten how
To say I Am, and would be
Lost, if they could, in history.
Bowing, for instance, with such old-world grace
To a proper flag in a proper place,
Muttering like ancients as they stump upstairs
Of Mine and His or Ours and Theirs.
Just as if time were what they used to will
When it was gifted with possession still,
Just as if they were wrong
In no more wishing to belong.
No wonder then so many die of grief,
So many are so lonely as they die;
No one has yet believed or liked a lie,
Another time has other lives to live.
After a recent paucity of postings I’m taking the bold step of posting two entries in two days, so consider this a makeup assignment of sorts. I was pleasantly surprised by the response to my recent article on National Poetry Month and even had the distinct privilege to hear from one of the authors on my list of poetry favorites, Anne Pierson Wiese. As the type of person who never really needed much encouragement to write about things like poetry in the first place, I am going to take advantage of the momentum from the first poetry post to go ahead and incorporate some more poetry into my entries for at least the duration of the month and maybe beyond. So continuing in that vein I’d like to share a couple poems by W.H. Auden before returning (mostly) to more baseball related stuff in my upcoming posts. Enjoy.
Musee des Beaux Arts
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
This first poem requires a bit of a footnote. The title refers to the name of a Belgian museum that houses a painting called Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, ostensibly by the elder Pieter Brueghel. I have presented the painting for you viewing pleasure, but the specific history of the painting and its subject matter both make for interesting additional reading if you care to do some additional reading.
As I Walked Out One Evening
As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.
And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
‘Love has no ending.
‘I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,
‘I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.
‘The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
And the first love of the world.’
But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
‘O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.
‘In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you would kiss.
‘In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.
‘Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
And the diver’s brilliant bow.
‘O plunge your hands in water,
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you’ve missed.
‘The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.
‘Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
And Jill goes down on her back.
‘O look, look in the mirror?
O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
Although you cannot bless.
‘O stand, stand at the window
As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart.’
It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
And the deep river ran on.