THAT SWEET DIAMOND: Baseball Poems by Paul B. Janeczko


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From Janeczko (Home, on the Range, 1997, etc.), an extremely appealing suite of poems that illuminate the plays and dramatis personae from before the game to after the last out. These poems have sweetness and rhythm, and focus on the game itself, perhaps with minor league or local players; there are small, sure poems to pitchers and infielders, to vendors, and to the arts of signs and spitting. In ""Before the Game,"" ""Girls with mitts/practice catches to be made""; ""Catcher Sings the Blues"" moans with the aches and pains of that position; ""A Curse Upon the Pitcher"" is a four-line taunt; and ""Things To Do During a Rain Delay"" will give a new generation some only slightly wicked ideas. Best of all is ""Section 7, Row 1, Seat 3"" about an elderly woman who ""measures life in baseball time"": ""Born the year Yankee Stadium opened . . . son born during Jackie Robinson's first season . . ."" and"" 'Leaving before the last out . . . is like dying/before your time.' "" Newcomer Katchen's wonderful pastels, like chalk drawings in the rain, have the fuzziness of tender memories and fully complement the text.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum