The Crowd at the Ball Game

by William Carlos Williams

The crowd at the ball game
is moved uniformly

by a spirit of uselessness
which delights them —

all the exciting detail
of the chase

and the escape, the error
the flash of genius —

all to no end save beauty
the eternal –

So in detail they, the crowd,
are beautiful

for this
to be warned against

saluted and defied —
It is alive, venomous

it smiles grimly
its words cut —

The flashy female with her
mother, gets it —

The Jew gets it straight – it
is deadly, terrifying —

It is the Inquisition, the
Revolution

It is beauty itself
that lives

day by day in them
idly —

This is
the power of their faces

It is summer, it is the solstice
the crowd is

cheering, the crowd is laughing
in detail

permanently, seriously
without thought

From The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams Vol 1:1909-1939 (New Directions Publishing Corporation ). Copyright by New Directions Publishing Corporation.


Published in Ballparks, Fans, Free Verse, The Game Itself | Link to this poem | 1 Comment

The Crowd at the Ball Game: 1 Comment

  1. Bob Carlton wrote,

    So who is next in the order, Marianne Moore maybe?

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