"Throw the Bums Out"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 6 19:44:46 UTC 2010

Cool.  Francis also wrote one of the greatest baseball poems in the history
of baseball poetry.

This looks like how I remember (sic) it:
The distracting expanses between free-verse couplets are artifactual.


On Thu, May 6, 2010 at 2:46 PM, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "Throw the Bums Out"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Speaking of bums and baseball: As an end-of-semester "treat" for my Milton
> class, I distributed the following pretty poem. Of course, no one in the
> class, even avowed baseball fans, knew of the Dodgers being called "the
> Bums" (nor of the Dodgers having resided in Brooklyn)--though they did know
> about Dickens's Artful Dodger. The poems is by Robert Francis (1901-1987).
> _____________________________
> Two bums walk out of Eden. Evening approaches
> The suave, the decorous trees, the careful grass,
> The strict green benches--and the two bums go.
> They caught the official nod, the backward-pointing
> Thumb, and now they rise and leave a little
> Briskly as men heedful to waste no time--
> As men bending their steps toward due appointments.
> The tall one looms like a skeleton; the runt
> Walks with the totter of a tumbleweed.
> Down the trimmed ceremonial path they go
> Together, silent and separate and eyes
> Ahead like soldiers. Down the long path and out.
> What desert blanched these faces: What blowing sands
> Gullied the eyes and wrecked the hanging hands
> While Babylon and Nineveh were falling?
> Now a shade darker will be a shade less dark.
> Now there is room for evening in the park
> Where cool episcopal bells are calling, calling.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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