Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.

In this week’s short poem for baseball season, Edward Rielly of Westbrook comments about the curveball, Walt Whitman, and American democracy.


Old Whitman Loved Baseball


By Edward J. Rielly


Old Whitman loved baseball, covered it

for Brooklyn newspapers, watched games

every chance he got, talked about it

endlessly to anyone who would listen

when he grew too old and ill to get about.


He never got over, though, the new curveball

and the deceit that went with it. Thought

it un-American, not the stuff of noble youth

or democracy. He must have seen what was coming.


Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2007 Edward J. Rielly. Reprinted from “Old Whitman Loved Baseball and Other Baseball Poems,” Moon Pie Press, 2007, by permission of Edward J. Rielly. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, special consultant to the Maine poet laureate, at [email protected] or 228-8263. “Take Heart: Poems from Maine,” an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.

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