(Poem #1648) Baseball's Sad Lexicon
These are the saddest of possible words: "Tinker to Evers to Chance." Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds, Tinker and Evers and Chance. Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble, Making a Giant hit into a double -- Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble: "Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Note: http://eir.library.utoronto.ca/rpo/display/poem2940.html for a detailed explanation of what's going on Poetry had its origins in oral tradition, and it continues to rely heavily on the spoken word for its full impact. Devices like rhyme and metre, which have attended poetry since antiquity (and continue to attend it despite transient bubbles of unfashionability) are not just mnemonic, but actively pleasing to the ear; moreover, they form a natural framework in which words and phrases are emphasised or deemphasised, linked together or split apart - in other words, they are an integral part of the sense and flow of the poem. Today's poem is firmly rooted in the oral camp - it really cries out to be read aloud, and even a silent read through gets me counting out the rhythm in some physical form. And I was delighted to learn the story behind its origin: The author was Franklin Pierce Adams who was a Cubs fan, a sportswriter for the New York Evening Mail and a poet thanks to an article that his editors said was too short making him pen Baseball's Sad Lexicon on his way to a game at the Polo Grounds. -- http://www.baseball-almanac.com/poetry/po_sad.shtml There is no real way to know why some poems of this sort enjoy a brief spurt of popularity and vanish tracelessly, while others become immortal; nonetheless, having known and enjoyed this little ditty long before I knew anything about baseball, I am unsurprised it has fallen into the latter category. martin [Links] We've run a couple of Franklin's poems before; there's a biography attached to Poem #212 And the wikipedia article on baseball should tell you more than you ever wanted to know about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball