An interview with Sandra Marchetti, author of Aisle 228, a new collection of poems about baseball
You touch on everything that I wonder about, Radha. Thank you!
Good interview. I like the idea that a poem in a book might need to be “better” than in a lit mag.
I suppose it’s not surprising that poetry publishers are uninterested in sports, not even baseball, but it’s another measure, perhaps, of how out of touch they are. I suspect baseball has contributed as much to our language and thoughts as Shakespeare (example: Sandra’s use of the phrase “pepper the field”).
For those of us who experienced baseball deeply when young, it can be more than just nostalgia or sentiment, it’s part of our psyches. I’m reminded of this passage from Philip Roth’s essay “My Baseball Years” from 1973:
“As I remember it, news of two of the most cataclysmic public events of my childhood—the death of President Roosevelt and the bombing of Hiroshima—reached me while I was out playing ball.”
Now that baseball is no longer the national pastime, in the sense of occupying so many of the places where we exist, it’s not clear what, if anything, will replace it. Video games? Social media? Soccer? I think not.