Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Old Whitman Loved Baseball

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

In this week’s short poem for baseball season, Edward Rielly of Westbrook comments about the curveball, Walt Whitman, and American democracy.

Old Whitman Loved Baseball by Edward J. Rielly

Old Whitman loved baseball, covered it
for Brooklyn newspapers, watched games
every chance he got, talked about it
endlessly to anyone who would listen
when he grew too old and ill to get about.
He never got over, though, the new curveball
and the deceit that went with it. Thought
it un-American, not the stuff of noble youth 
or democracy. He must have seen what was coming.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2007 Edward J. Rielly. Reprinted from Old Whitman Loved Baseball and Other Baseball Poems, Moon Pie Press, 2007, by permission of Edward J. Rielly. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.