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[Marianne Moore]

Baseball and Writing

Tippoo's tiger
Le tigre de Tippoo]

[Tigre de Tippoo]


Baseball and Writting


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.



Tippoo's tiger

The tiger was his prototype.
The forefeet of his throne were tiger?s feet.
He mounted by a four-square pyramid of silver stairs converging as they rose.
The jackets of his infantry and palace guard
bore little woven stripes incurved like buttonholes.

Beneath the throne an emerald carpet lay.
Approaching it, each subject kissed nine times
the carpet?s velvet face of meadow-green.

Tipu owned sixteen hunting-cats to course the antelope
until his one great polecat ferret with exciting tail
escaped through its unlatched hut-door along a plank
above a ditch; paused, drank, and disappeared
precursor of it master´s fate.

His weapons were engraved with tiger claws and teeth
in spiral characters that said the conqueror is God.
The infidel claimed Tipu´s helmet and cuirasse
and a vast toy, a curious automaton
a man killed by a tiger; with organ pipes inside
from which blood-curdling cries merged with inhuman groans.
The tiger moved its tail as the man move his arm.

This ballad still awaits a tiger-hearted bard.
Great losses for the enemy
can´t make one´s loss less hard.


Le tigre de Tippoo


Le tigre était son prototype.
Les pieds de son trône étaient des pattes de tigre.

Il s’élevait par une pyramide carrée aux escaliers d’argent convergeant à mesure qu’ils montaient.
Les jaquettes de son infanterie et des gardes du palais

portaient de petites bandes tissées incurvées comme des boutonnières.


Sous le trône reposait un tapis émeraude.
En l’approchant, chaque sujet embrassait huit fois
la face en velours du tapis couleur pré vert.


Tipu possédait seize chats de chasse pour courser l’antilope
jusqu’à ce que son unique grand putois fureteur à la queue palpitante
s’échappe par la porte ouverte de sa hutte le long d’un madrier
par-dessus un fossé; s’arrête, boive et disparaisse

signe avant-coureur du destin de son maître.


Ses armes étaient gravées avec des griffes et des dents de tigre
en caractères spirales qui disaient que le conquérant est Dieu.
L’infidèle exigea le casque et la cuirasse de Tipu
et un immense jouet, un curieux automate

un homme tué par un tigre ; avec des tuyaux d’orgue à l’intérieur
d’où des cris à glacer le sang émergeaient avec des gémissements inhumains.
Le tigre remuait sa queue tandis que l’homme bougeait son bras.

            Cette ballade attend toujours un barde mangeur de tigre. 
                 De grosses pertes pour l’ennemi
                 ne peuvent rendre la perte du propriétaire moins dure.

[Traducció de Thierry Gillyboeuf dins de Marianne Moore, Poésie complète, Licornes et sabiers, éditions José Corti,  2004]


Tigre de Tipoo


O tigre era o seu protótipo.
Os pés dianteiros do seu trono, as patas do tigre.
Ele se erguia pela pirâmide quadrada de convergentes degraus prateados.
As fardas de sua infantaria e da guarda palaciana
traziam pequenas listas escovadas como botoeiras.

Sob o trono, um tapete esmeralda.
Ao se aproximar, cada súdito beijava nove vezes
o aveludado verde-prado do tapete.

Tipu possuía dezesseis felinos para caçar o antílope,
até que um deles, seu furão de formidável cauda,
fugiu pela porta destravada da choupana, numa tábua
sobre o fosso: ali parou. E desapareceu
foi precursor do destino de seu mestre.

Nas armas de Tipu, gravadas com garras e dentes de tigre,
letras espirais diziam: o conquistador é Deus.
O infiel exigiu dele o elmo, a couraça
e seu imenso brinquedo, um curioso autômato
o homem morto pelo tigre; de dentro, pelas tubas
do órgão, gritos de cortar o coração jorravam.
O tigre movia a cauda como o homem o braço.

Um bardo tigre esta balada ainda espera.
Perder um só soldado
é o mesmo que perder muitos em qualquer guerra.


[Traducció de Leonardo Gandolfi e Virna Teixeira]



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