Baseball isn’t just for jocks and jugheads but for everyone, even the literary-minded. “America’s pastime” has long inspired writers — not only day-to-day journalists but novelists such as John R. Tunis, Jackson Scholz and the legendary Ring Lardner.
Aside from “Casey at the Bat,” by Ernest Thayer, one seldom hears about great baseball poems, yet there are many out there, as a visit to http://www.baseball-almanac/poems will attest. Among poets who have written about baseball are William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman, Ogden Nash, Richard Armour and the ever-famous A. Nonymous.
Today, the local non-profit literary organization Inkberry, the Transcript and the North Adams SteepleCats are sending out a call to local poets (and anyone else who might be interested) to get inspired by this summer game so many of us love, whether we cheer for the Red Sox, the Yankees, the Mets or our local collegiate, high school, Babe Ruth or Little League teams.
The three organizations are sponsoring a Baseball Haiku contest, commencing immediately. The top three winners (and more if the poetry warrants) will receive free tickets to a SteepleCats home game at Joe Wolfe Field this summer. They will also have their poems published in the Transcript.
What is a haiku? It’s a form of poetry invented by the Japanese that anyone of any age can write. In English, haikus are traditionally composed of three lines: The first has five syllables, the second seven syllables and the third five syllables. The writers don’t even have to worry about punctuation. The poem that begins this article is an example of a baseball haiku (although not necessarily a good one).
Entering the contest is easy: Just send your haiku (or haikus) via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to Inkberry, 115 State St., Building 1, North Adams MA 01247. All ages are welcome.
Winners will be announced in early July. Please include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address with your entry. The deadline is Wednesday, July 2, at 5 p.m.
Write your poem today
Get inspired by baseball lore
No one will strike out.