At the Ball Game

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With the thousands of poems depicting the game of baseball and its remarkable players, coming across a poem seeking thorough cross sectioning of the crowd is unusual, and rarely encountered. William Carlos Williams has created a poem which portrays the crowd as a quasi-organized mob bent on either cheering for their team, or in turn, booing them. The reason why Williams does this is because he is portraying, in a sense, simplicity versus chaos with simplicity being the game of baseball itself and chaos being the crowd.

The game of baseball is simple and to the point. One throws the ball, fields the ball and uses a bat to hit the ball. The crowd however is complex with many fields acting upon it. Emotions and the vast consumption of alcoholic beverages turn the crowd into a dangerous mob. With references to stanza's ten and eleven, it tells of how the Jew and the flashy female understand what is happening as emotions increase. Stanza ten refers to sexual assault and stanza eleven refers to the genocidal attempt by Hitler and his Nazi regime.

Williams tells of how the crowd acts and moves as one. He refers to these people which make up the crowd as drones, completely and uninterruptedly tuned into what is happening on the diamond. Williams believes this to be beautiful, for even in its chaos, there is a sense of uniformity. He also tells of how the crowd is drawn to the game for its exciting chase. This simple form of a game can stimulate a crowd into becoming a mob that could be perceived as dangerous.

Ultimately, Williams believed that the crowd was but one emotion, one movement and one person all in the same. The game of baseball is nothing without the roar of the crowd and its summer solstice. To these people that make up the crowd, it is every man's dream, it is the cheering and laughing that keep them going, it is baseball. Joe Jackson told it best when he said, "And it was the crowd, the excitement of them rising as one when the ball...
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