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By May Swenson

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, “Analysis of Baseball” from New and Selected Things Taking Place (Boston: Atlantic/Little Brown, 1978). Copyright © 1978 by May Swenson. Reprinted with the permission of The Literary Estate of May Swenson.

Source: New and Selected Things Taking Place (Little Brown and Company, 1978)

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Poet Bio

May Swenson
Ranked by Harold Bloom as one of the twentieth century’s three best women poets, May Swenson was born in Logan, Utah, but spent most of her adult life in New York City. Active as an editor, teacher and critic, she also translated Swedish poetry and wrote many poems for children. Her particular gift was for close observation and sensuous, imagistic description of the physical world. From 1980 to 1989 she acted as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. See More By This Poet

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