The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday

Fast Break
By Edward Hirsch

In Memory of Dennis Turner, 1946-1984

A hook shot kisses the rim and
hangs there, helplessly, but doesn't drop,

and for once our gangly starting center
boxes out his man and times his jump

perfectly, gathering the orange leather
from the air like a cherished possession

and spinning around to throw a strike
to the outlet who is already shoveling

an underhand pass toward the other guard
scissoring past a flat-footed defender

who looks stunned and nailed to the floor
in the wrong direction, trying to catch sight

of a high, gliding dribble and a man
letting the play develop in front of him

in slow motion, almost exactly
like a coach's drawing on the blackboard,

both forwards racing down the court
the way that forwards should, fanning out

and filling the lanes in tandem, moving
together as brothers passing the ball

between them without a dribble, without
a single bounce hitting the hardwood

until the guard finally lunges out
and commits to the wrong man

while the power-forward explodes past them
in a fury, taking the ball into the air

by himself now and laying it gently
against the glass for a lay-up,

but losing his balance in the process,
inexplicably falling, hitting the floor

with a wild, headlong motion
for the game he loved like a country

and swiveling back to see an orange blur
floating perfectly through the net.


From Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in the Sunday Washington Post Book World. "March, the month of college basketball's annual NCAA tournament (and preceding Poetry Month), gives me an opportunity to begin honoring predecessors in this column," Pinsky writes. "Edward Hirsch's justly celebrated poem 'Fast Break' captures and epitomizes the speed and brilliance of an inspired moment when things go right -- in the rhythms of a sport or in the charmed exertions of sentences and lines. Hirsch's single long sentence courses sure-footedly to its ultimate goal: the noun 'net.' The movement through the couplets, unfettered and purposeful, demonstrates what it describes: the grace of improvisation working through a plan. The elegiac dedication in the subtitle emphasizes charges of mortality in certain phrases -- above all in the past tense of 'loved.'"

Now everyone has shoes, and all computer files that I need have been burned to disc, and we have equipment so that tomorrow, in between Hebrew school and the Purim carnival in the early part of the day and going out to dinner for apaulled's 40th birthday in the evening, we can make a mobile using wire and pine cones using Calder's algebraic formulas. Also, I have cleaned two of the bathrooms so that when perkypaduan comes over to bond with my cats, she does not run screaming out the door as soon as she has to pee. Does this constitute preparedness? Fine, go ahead and laugh.

Otherwise Saturday was sorting and fretting and calling people and pretending to pay attention to basketball...and taking a walk with my older son because it was so completely gorgeous out that how could I not? And now I have two days left, so utter insanity sets in. This is the first time in my life I am really mad NOT to have my period; I want it over with! And I keep thinking I almost kind of have a sore throat, which makes me panic, except then I drink a lot and suck some mints and feel better. Shall try liquor next. *g*

From lizblackdog...I loved this quiz despite the silly questions about ambrosia and such.

You scored as Kabbalistic Pagan. Kabbalistic study derives from Judaism, and acknowledges that the divine is vast and unknowable. The Torah was reinterpreted because of this idea, to gain a greater understanding of the sacred text. Kabbalistic mysticism is still alive in our world, specifically in tarot cards; symbolic color is a Kabbalistic belief and study. Those who follow this path are generally those who are open to the concept that we cannot know the Divine, and accepts the connection of all things, even religion, itself.


Kabbalistic Pagan


Eclectic Pagan


Shamanic Pagan


Sumerian, Babylonian, and Mesopotamian Pagans


Celtic Pantheonic Pagan


Egyptian Pantheonic Pagan


Eastern Pagan


Zoroastrian Pagan


Greek Pantheonic Pagan


Norse Pantheonic Pagan (Asatru)


Roman Pantheonic Pagan


Catholic (Pagan?)


What kind of Pagan are you?
created with

And speaking of Paganism, here is Sulis Minerva in Bath. There are all kinds of interesting theories about how a Celtic god and a Roman goddess became conflated in this image, which appears to be part-Medusa, part-Green Man.

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