Brasile 2014 e contro la Sindrome di Capalbio (1): sul perché preferisco Marianne Moore a Umberto Saba. Due poesie.

Uno stupido che cammina va più lontano di dieci intellettuali seduti (Jacques Séguéla)

Il giornalista è stimolato dalla scadenza. Scrive peggio se ha tempo. (Karl Kraus)

Picture 1Baseball and Writing Marianne Moore, 1887 - 1972

Fanaticism?  No.  Writing is exciting
and baseball is like writing.
You can never tell with either
how it will go
or what you will do;
generating excitement–
a fever in the victim–
pitcher, catcher, fielder, batter.
Victim in what category?
Owlman watching from the press box?
To whom does it apply?
Who is excited?  Might it be I?

It’s a pitcher’s battle all the way–a duel–
a catcher’s, as, with cruel
puma paw, Elston Howard lumbers lightly
back to plate.  (His spring
de-winged a bat swing.)
They have that killer instinct;
yet Elston–whose catching
arm has hurt them all with the bat–
when questioned, says, unenviously,
“I’m very satisfied.  We won.”
Shorn of the batting crown, says, “We”;
robbed by a technicality.

When three players on a side play three positions
and modify conditions,
the massive run need not be everything.
“Going, going . . . ”  Is
it?  Roger Maris
has it, running fast.  You will
never see a finer catch.  Well . . .
“Mickey, leaping like the devil”–why
gild it, although deer sounds better–
snares what was speeding towards its treetop nest,
one-handing the souvenir-to-be
meant to be caught by you or me.

Assign Yogi Berra to Cape Canaveral;
he could handle any missile.
He is no feather.  “Strike! . . . Strike two!”
Fouled back.  A blur.
It’s gone.  You would infer
that the bat had eyes.
He put the wood to that one.
Praised, Skowron says, “Thanks, Mel.
I think I helped a little bit.”
All business, each, and modesty.
Blanchard, Richardson, Kubek, Boyer.
In that galaxy of nine, say which
won the pennant?  Each.  It was he.

Those two magnificent saves from the knee-throws
by Boyer, finesses in twos–
like Whitey’s three kinds of pitch and pre-
with pick-off psychosis.
Pitching is a large subject.
Your arm, too true at first, can learn to
catch your corners–even trouble
Mickey Mantle.  (“Grazed a Yankee!
My baby pitcher, Montejo!”
With some pedagogy,
you’ll be tough, premature prodigy.)

They crowd him and curve him and aim for the knees.  Trying
indeed!  The secret implying:
“I can stand here, bat held steady.”
One may suit him;
none has hit him.
Imponderables smite him.
Muscle kinks, infections, spike wounds
require food, rest, respite from ruffians.  (Drat it!
Celebrity costs privacy!)
Cow’s milk, “tiger’s milk,” soy milk, carrot juice,
brewer’s yeast (high-potency–
concentrates presage victory

sped by Luis Arroyo, Hector Lopez–
deadly in a pinch.  And “Yes,
it’s work; I want you to bear down,
but enjoy it
while you’re doing it.”
Mr. Houk and Mr. Sain,
if you have a rummage sale,
don’t sell Roland Sheldon or Tom Tresh.
Studded with stars in belt and crown,
the Stadium is an adastrium.
O flashing Orion,
your stars are muscled like the lion.


di Umberto Saba

Il portiere caduto alla difesa
ultima vana, contro terra cela
la faccia, a non vedere l’amara luce.
Il compagno in ginocchio che lo induce
con parole e con mano, a sollevarsi,
scopre pieni di lacrime i suoi occhi.

La folla – unita ebbrezza – par trabocchi
nel campo. Intorno al vincitore stanno,
al suo collo si gettano i fratelli.
Pochi momenti come questo belli,
a quanti l’odio consuma e l’amore,
è dato sotto il cielo, di vedere.

Presso alla rete inviolata il portiere,
l’altro – è rimasto; ma non la sua anima,
con la persona vi è rimasto sola.
La sua gioia si fa una capriola,
si fa baci che manda di lontano.
Della festa – egli dice – anch’io son parte….

Featured image, una straordinaria Marianne Moore.