On Chapman's Homer

Joe Maddon
Joe Maddon
Joseph John "Joe" Maddon, born February 8, 1954, is an American professional baseball manager who currently (2016) manages the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball. | Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs, Major League Baseball, Manager, Glasses, Sports, Baseball,

No Casey or Muddville Here, Phew...

Much have I travell'd in the realms of old, And many goodly hits and misses seen; Round many imaginary bases have I been, which yards in fealty to Doubleday do hold. Oft of one wide expanse had I been told, that deep-belted Homer ruled as his domain; Yet did I never breathe its purest scene. Till I heard Chapman hit, out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies. When a new ill comet swims into his ken; Or like stout Joey Maddon when with eagle eyes. He star'd at the scoreboard—and all his men look'd at each other with a wild surmise— Silent, upon a streak about to end
--Al Mosed Beats

"On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" is a sonnet written by the English Romantic poet John Keats (1795–1821) in October 1816. It tells of the author's astonishment while reading the works of the ancient Greek poet Homer as freely translated by the Elizabethan playwright George Chapman.

The poem has become an often-quoted classic, cited to demonstrate the emotional power of a great work of art, and the ability of great art to create an epiphany in its beholder.”

Yes, you read that right---Wikipedia, there, in black and white, affirming that in October, 200 years ago, old Mr. Keats, at least in this modern translation, predicted the near defeat of the Chicago Cubs, thereby nearly extending the relatively ancient curse which had hexed that ignoble pack of the species Arcturus as but forever orphaned bear Cubs, still barely worthy of any other notice than is provided by ridicule.

But, alack and alas, ‘twas not to be, and ‘Cleveland Beats’, like old John Keats, did perish in the driving home by Mr. Z, MVP, and that headline ‘wasn’t Chapman’s deadly homer beats’, like Keats, an unfinished task, was buried six feet and asunder in that land of ancient curses home, in an empty cask, in Rome (spell that ‘roam’, as in gone).


Seriously, as one who almost inhered to a number of apartment buildings a baseball’s throw from Wrigley Field (long story), this scrivener is especially aware of loss, oh yeah; but, for all those whose refrain has been for far too long ‘you can’t win ‘em all’, let it be known far and wide that, unlike that other American poem about Casey and Muddville, joy for America’s Second City (from this native New Yorker) is nonetheless in this heart---if not this wallet.

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Updated Jan 2, 2019 12:27 PM EST | More details


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