Baseball Poems

Poems to celebrate the national pastime.
Image of baseball stadium.
Players Famous and Infamous
  • Ernest Lawrence Thayer

    And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
    And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

  • Felix N. Stefanile

    cleats on his shoes,
    and a hometown shoulder,

  • Franklin Pierce Adams

    So pitch that every man can but admire
          And offer you the freedom of the town—
    This is the end of every fan’s desire.

  • J. Patrick Lewis

    Now what you hear, as flags unfurl,
    Is “Atta boy!” and “Atta girl!”

Metaphors for Life

Poets playfully measure baseball’s symbolic weight.

  • Jill McDonough

    wants you to know he's only
    human: We're human beings.
    That's why we're here.

  • May Swenson

    Ball hates
    to take bat’s

  • Baron Wormser

    It’s the keenness of conflict that appeals

  • Gail Mazur

    this is not a microcosm,
    not even a slice of life

  • Tom Clark

    Every day I peruse the box scores for hours
    Sometimes I wonder why I do it

Dreams and Fantasies

Baseball imagery seeps up from the subconscious.

  • Denis Johnson

    i know i will
    miss, because i always miss when it
    takes so long.

  • Lisa Olstein

    Off-field, outside the park, beyond
    the gates, something was burning.

  • Stuart Dybek

    Bushes, a double,
    off the fence, triple,
    and over, home run.

  • Marjorie Maddox

    this is the moment replayed on winter days
    when frost covers the field,

Dad Days

Fathers, sons, and daughters on the field and in the stands.

  • David Bottoms

                I could homer
    into the left-field lot of Carmichael Motors,
    and still you stressed the same technique,

  • Quincy Troupe

    but you, there, father, through it all, a yardbird solo
    riffing on bat & ball glory, breaking down the fabricated myths

  • Carole Oles

    And go back to the bleachers at Yankee Stadium
    where you took me at 7 though I was not the son

  • Mark Halliday

    Kenny’s bottle smashed on home plate and Jack heard in the sound
    the absurdity of all his desiring since seventh grade,

Spectators Sporting

Watching the game becomes a sport unto itself.


Poets and players on attentiveness, idleness, intimacy, and other parallels between poetry and baseball.

  • Levi Stahl

    Baseball’s very rhythms are those of poetry, acknowledging that if everything can change in a moment, then attention to those moments is an essential duty.

  • Fernando Perez

    I write from Caracas, the murder capital of the world, where I’ve been employed by the Leones to score runs and prevent balls from falling in the outfield.

  • Ron Silliman interviewed by Jim Behrle (Jim Behrle & Ron Silliman)

    Poets historically can be pretty fun ballgame companions, and not only if they are on hallucinogens at a Red Sox/Yankees game like Ted Berrigan and Harris Schiff in the great Yo-Yo’s with Money.

    • Appeared in Poetry Magazine Say Hey
    Ron Silliman

    What sets these poems apart from the bulk of baseball poetry, and from the ideology of individual accomplishment that is so much a part of the ethos of the sport, is that they’re about failure, and about intimacy, implying a deep, even necessary connection between the two.

  • Anselm Berrigan interviewed by Bethlehem Shoals (Anselm Berrigan & Bethlehem Shoals)

    And in baseball, there’s so much space in the sport. The pitchers are doing a lot physically, but at the same time, they’re also standing there. You have to get interested in a slower sense of time passing.