Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Three Beautiful Things 01/05/11: Goodbye Molly and Olivia, Intro to Poetry -- Day 2, Bert Blyleven Triggers a Sweet Memory

1.  If I had to perform the sad task of driving Olivia and Molly to the airport, then the best I could hope for is that everything went smoothly:  Olivia was fed, Molly was packed, we left the house on time, and got to the airport plenty early.  Check. Check. Check. Check.  Whew.  Molly and I embraced and climbed in my red Honda and she climbed aboard some kind of jet plane and I was off to LCC and she to Atlanta, GA.  And so was Olivia, blessedly too young to comprehend this separation.

2.  Very little poetry is abstract.  It creates pictures, appeals to the senses, brings us into an imagined realty.  The whisky on your breath/ Could make a small boy dizzy. . . a rambunctious moment between a hard-working father and his son? a moment of a boy being battered by his father?  Both?...We didn't settle it...never will...but I hope my students will remember that the poem is ambiguous not because of what's withheld, but because of all that is there.  I was really pumped after Day 2 of ENG 106:  Introduction to Poetry.

3.  I've been on the Bert Blyleven Hall of Fame bandwagon for quite a few years.  I  had the box score from game 5 of the 1979 World Series posted on my office bulletin board for years.  Jim Rooker started that game on short rest and was gassed after five innings.  Blyleven, unused to relief duty, on two days rest, after pitching six innings in Game 2, shut out the Orioles over four innings, and the Pirates, down three games to one entering Game 5, stayed alive in the Series, and went on to win it.  I marveled at Blyleven's performance as I watched it in 1979.  Having seen him gut out that game and help propel the Pirates' comeback makes me very happy that he was voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame today.  For the last several years, when the voting tally has been published, his has been the first name I've looked for.

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