A Poem in the Magic Number 9
From its remarkable design to its effervescent language, George Bowering's ode to the beautiful game is as original as it is funny, as bittersweet as it is playful. A long-out-of-print Coach House classic, originally published in 1967, Baseball weaves together mythology, autobiography, literary history and pop culture into an inimitable book-length poem that explores all the nuances of the sport. Here are all the greats: Mantle, DiMaggio, Maris,Williams and Manuel Louie, shortstop for the Wenatchee Chiefs, their exploits captured in passages of off-kilter, occasionally melancholy, lyricism. Gar Smith's enchanting and ingenious design has also been preserved; the book, complete with green velvet-flocked covers, is shaped like a pennant that, when unfolded, forms a diamond.
A long-time utility player, Bowering (our Homer?) has written books in many different genres and was recently named Canada's first Poet Laureate. Baseball is a tantalizing glimpse of the writer at the beginning of his illustrious career; a real curveball of a book that will dazzle literature and sports fans alike.