Poetry Club, day 6

Spring training is underway. If you’re a baseball fan, you don’t need me to tell you that fact. I’m not a baseball person, but I know many people who are. It seems no other sport goes so well with poetry as baseball.

I had permission to use this poem, but it fell off in the rewrite. I wanted a poem with unusual form, and this one evokes box scores. It also makes a profound statement by rhyming “fun” with “run,” something any third-grader could do. But May Swenson did it better.


Analysis of Baseball


It’s about                   Ball fits

the ball,                      mitt, but

the bat,                       not all

and the mitt.             the time.

Ball hits                      Sometimes

bat, or it                     ball gets hit

hits mitt.                    (pow) when bat

Bat doesn’t                meets it,

hit ball,                       and sails

bat meets it.               to a place

Ball bounces             where mitt

off bat, flies               has to quit

air, or thuds               in disgrace.

ground (dud)             That’s about

or it                              the bases

fits mitt.                      loaded,

about 40,000

Bat waits                     fans exploded.

for ball

to mate.                       It’s about

Ball hates                    the ball,

to take bat’s                the bat,

bait. Ball                     the mitt,

flirts, bat’s                  the bases

late, don’t                   and the fans.

keep the date.            It’s done

Ball goes in                on a diamond,

(thwack) to mitt,      and for fun.

and goes out              It’s about

(thwack) back           home, and it’s

to mitt.                       about run.


~ May Swenson


Your turn. Thanks so much, y’all, for playing along.


  1. Heather Garcia says

    So many fun verbs!

  2. One of the few sports I actually understand . . . thanks to countless hours on the bleachers watching my four boys
    having fun
    as they hit
    and run.

  3. The sounds of baseball are soothing to me like metal buttons clanking in the drum of the dryer. And then, there is the sound of the fans exploding. There’s something about waiting for something to happen in a game and when it does, it quickens the heart rate reminding me that there is a reason behind all the mesmerizing thwacks into the mitt—some reason other than being white noise.

    Baseball seems the perfect spectator sport for introverts (of which I am not one of them.) They put a pencil between their teeth and scorepad in their laps and act like they’re alone in a crowd of thousands. They call it fun.

  4. that was SO much fun to read, Megan. thank you.

  5. Baseball requires so few parts, demonstrated here by the repeated use of their short, single-syllable names. Bat, ball, mitt, bases. Fans, optional. How these things relate to each other on any given pitch is what the story of a game will be, just as in a family. And the poem does end talking about home.

    I’m feeling philosophical today. 🙂

    This poem is so clever. I’ll bet the poet had fun writing it. I wonder if she was a baseball mom who spent countless hours in the stands while the words tumbled around in her head.

  6. Nancy Franson says

    Remember the baseball poem my nephew had to write for that awful assignment?

  7. Ball flirts. Bat waits for ball to mate.

    Oh, how I love this poem!