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GasHouseGang 10-09-2020 11:31 PM

Classic Poetry For a Friday Night
 
There's bound to be those out there that have heard of it but never actually read it. So here it is.

Casey at the Bat
BY ERNEST LAWRENCE THAYER
A Ballad of the Republic, Sung in the Year 1888

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought if only Casey could but get a whack at that—
We’d put up even money now with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted some one on the stand;
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clinched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.

todeen 10-10-2020 12:31 AM

If someone hasn't read this before now, it's a mighty sad existence they have lived. (Says a secondary English teacher)

In another world of MLB nicknames, Joey Votto has had perhaps the greatest nickname ever on his jersey - "In Flanders Fields."

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GasHouseGang 10-10-2020 09:10 AM

I started quoting it last night and my wife didn't know what I was talking about, and she's my age. So I thought there are probably others that haven't read it before. I was as surprised as you. My wife reads all the time too, but wasn't familiar with this poem.

todeen 10-11-2020 10:59 AM

I have found that not all readers like reading poetry. But with the classic Casey at the Bat Disney cartoon, I just feel that this ought to be a poem that people know.

Does your wife know the poem "in flanders fields"?

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todeen 10-11-2020 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GasHouseGang (Post 2024508)
I started quoting it last night and my wife didn't know what I was talking about, and she's my age. So I thought there are probably others that haven't read it before. I was as surprised as you. My wife reads all the time too, but wasn't familiar with this poem.

Also, has your wife read THE NATURAL?

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GasHouseGang 10-11-2020 01:37 PM

Heck, I haven't even read "The Natural". I bet most of us have just seen the movie.

todeen 10-13-2020 10:39 PM

The author of THE NATURAL wrote other books. I like his book called THE FIXER. Not sure what your wife likes for genre, but I recommend both books!

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Huysmans 10-15-2020 07:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by todeen (Post 2024773)
I have found that not all readers like reading poetry. But with the classic Casey at the Bat Disney cartoon, I just feel that this ought to be a poem that people know.

Does your wife know the poem "in flanders fields"?

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Being that In Flanders Fields was written by Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae after the death of Alexis Helmer, who lost his life in the Second Battle of Ypres, it wouldn't be surprising that many Americans aren't aware of it (this despite the fact that the poem is associated with Veterans Day and Memorial Day).

It should also be noted that the Second Battle of Ypres was the first time in history that a former colonial power (Canada) defeated a European power (the German Empire) in Europe.


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