Book Acquired Recently: Jill Bialosky’s The Players

Bialosky, Jill. The Players. New York: Knopf, 2015.

I recently read a review of this poetry collection and decided to buy it because it includes a section about baseball. Baseball and poetry are a perfect match for each other because they both invite contemplation. The empty spaces between pitches (which really only seem to be empty) are like the spaces between stanzas: one is being pulled forward by the game’s/poem’s momentum while simultaneously considering what has gone before. Just as a baseball game carries the sport’s history with it in the comparison of statistics between today’s players and those of the past, the ever-constant form of the game (three strikes and you’re out, three outs to an inning, and you play until there is a winner), and as many meditations on the relationship between the sport and America as one chooses to mention, so to does every poem situate itself in the millennia-old tradition of poetry, attempting to make something new out of words worn soft with constant use.

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