In which football is bandied about as a theme and metaphor (of course) of what poetry is all about: football is a handy lens which gets us philosophical and full of insight; in such illumination, Emily Dickinson comes to light as wide receiver, Emerson as recruiting coach for The Poet (Hamlet is offensive coordinator for the players), and poets are scouted for their roles on the line.

We hear the Bard hand off football, William Carlos Williams weigh in on the ball game, ideas for snacks (Neruda potatoes, Ferlingetti penny candy, Baudelaire wine, Eliot peach—I dare you!)—everything but the Clydesdale horse ads to pre-game, including poems on falcons and patriots (W.B. Yeats, Gerald Manley Hopkins) and history of why the Ravens (of past Superbowl fame) have that name. It’s all about poetry, as we slow down, stop the clock as Cicero says, and gather round to see what’s on the line in our own struggles and plights and fights and strength and losses in such orderly, rulesy, feats.


With Professor Barbara Mossberg
Produced by Zappa Johns
© Barbara Mossberg
February 5, 2017

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