Monday, March 10, 2008

Royals Season Preview 4: Babes Love Baseball

It's an old, nuanced form, growing out of the haikai (sequenced verses) in the 1500s and evolved from the subtle, percipient art of Chinese poetry. Its power lies in its restraint, self-imposed, which forces the poet to evoke rather than illustrate. It's a form that operates in colors, not words. Yet for all its history, all the artistry and ability to draw profundities from the everyday -- "Only birds / sing the music of heaven / in this world" -- the haiku has suffered an unfortunate fate in Western culture, coopted by teenage girls, lazy poets, writer manques and rascally emailers into something really, truly bad, but acceptable all the same because our culture considers it "playful" and benign (who can get angry over 17 syllables, after all?). The haiku gives us a way to say something dumb or annoying without being offensive. In this way, I suppose it's nice to know poesy still has a purpose, but isn't it a little sad to glance upon this ancient art form and see the shadows of a beleaguered, wayworn old man who announces his frivolity with every appearance?

Here's where we're going with this... from Babes Love Baseball:

The KC Royals
Boast Gil Meche as their big ace
But that's about it

Mark Grudzielanek
Takes up a whole line just like
David DeJesus

Jimmy Gobble has
an unfortunate last name
Mahay still plays ball?

Man the Royals suck
120 bombs
Total last season

That's why they call it
Rebuilding for the future
Better luck someday

Cliched, shiftless and sedate. (Hey, look, seven syllables! That could've been the middle line of a haiku.)

And then there were the comments.

Bassmaster said...

The Nats and the Rays would like to challenge the Royals to a fight to the death for the suckiest baseball team in the world award.

Jacob said...

These get better and better the worse the teams are.

Eric (Extra P.) said...

Oh, yeah. "The Future". Sell that one somewhere else, Mr. Glass. We've heard it all before.

In order: stupid, false and... what? It's strange that around this time, when hope is springing out of every Major League baseball camp and its team's fans, we'd get such negativity out of someone who appears to be one of our own.

Bashō, a true haikai and haiku master, once wrote: "Learn about pines from the pine, and about bamboo from the bamboo. Don't follow in the footsteps of the old poets, seek what they sought. The basis of art is change in the universe." We could all take a lesson from that.

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