Willis Barnstone Stickball on 88th Street

ISBN 13: 9781597094771

Stickball on 88th Street

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9781597094771: Stickball on 88th Street

Comic, tragic, colorful, and adventurous, Stickball on 88th Street is a sequence of thirty-four narrative poems that follows its speaker from boyhood to college. ItÆs a memory book, bound with vignettes of school, family life, and the streets of New York City, as well as Maine and Mexico, culminating with a swan dive in Colorado. It reads like a novel or memoir, with characters, setting, and plot.


Stickball employs an original form, neither free verse nor traditionally formal, but rather lexical. Instead of meter and syllable counts, the book uses individual words as its units of measure. Each quatrain has twenty words: six each in the first two lines, four each in the last two lines. This form imposes no ponderous regularity, allowing for a swift narrative flow. It was written over the course of thirteen days in August, 1977, and has remained unchanged since then.

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About the Author:

A highly decorated poet and translator, Willis Barnstone has received four Pulitzer nominations, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Emily Dickinson Award of the Poetry Society of America, the W. H. Auden Award of the New York State Council on the Arts, the Midland Authors Award, as well as grants from the NEA and NEH. His work has appeared in magazines including APR, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, Paris Review, Poetry, The Nation, The New Yorker, and The Times Literary Supplement.

He has translated Sappho, Borges, Machado, Neruda, Mao Zedong, St. John of the Cross, Rilke, and many others, as well as the Gnostic Bible and the Restored New Testament. He taught in Greece during the Civil War, Argentina during the Dirty War, and China during the Cultural Revolution.

Formerly the O’Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University, he is now Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University. He divides his time between Bloomington, Indiana, and Oakland, California.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Stickball on 88th Street  I'm not much good at stickballand the kids are tough. Somehow      it's my turn. In      comes the rubber ballslowly in a dream like aplanet that won't spin. It comes      close, a blazing milky      rubber pea. I swing.Bop! My childhood skids along windows,dropping fair behind a manhole. I      race scared, ripping out      to second, miles away. I must tag the lamppost first,get by the toughs, not piss              in my pants or      bite my tongue. Whydidn't I dump the marbles whenI got up to bat? They      rattle in my knicker      pockets. Second is faras Maiden Lane. If I slipI'm out! No one's my friend      on this block. If      I make it, I'llpass semaphore and learn to kipon the highbar. The boys are      screaming for me to      run. For me! Iround second. Two kids are yellingup the street, after the ball,      as it bounces toward      wild yellow taxis thumpingdown West End. I fly homethrough the mobs of black angels.      Tonight I'll even snatch      supper from the dog.The ball floats home. I’m safe,standing on the side with guys      shoving me. I’ll never      get to bat again. 

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Book Description Red Hen Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Comic, tragic, colorful, and adventurous, Stickball on 88th Street is a sequence of thirty-four narrative poems that follows its speaker from boyhood to college. It s a memory book, bound with vignettes of school, family life, and the streets of New York City, as well as Maine and Mexico, culminating with a swan dive in Colorado. It reads like a novel or memoir, with characters, setting, and plot. Stickball employs an original form, neither free verse nor traditionally formal, but rather lexical. Instead of meter and syllable counts, the book uses individual words as its units of measure. Each quatrain has twenty words: six each in the first two lines, four each in the last two lines. This form imposes no ponderous regularity, allowing for a swift narrative flow. It was written over the course of thirteen days in August, 1977, and has remained unchanged since then. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781597094771

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Book Description Red Hen Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Comic, tragic, colorful, and adventurous, Stickball on 88th Street is a sequence of thirty-four narrative poems that follows its speaker from boyhood to college. It s a memory book, bound with vignettes of school, family life, and the streets of New York City, as well as Maine and Mexico, culminating with a swan dive in Colorado. It reads like a novel or memoir, with characters, setting, and plot. Stickball employs an original form, neither free verse nor traditionally formal, but rather lexical. Instead of meter and syllable counts, the book uses individual words as its units of measure. Each quatrain has twenty words: six each in the first two lines, four each in the last two lines. This form imposes no ponderous regularity, allowing for a swift narrative flow. It was written over the course of thirteen days in August, 1977, and has remained unchanged since then. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781597094771

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Book Description Red Hen Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 104 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 5.0in. x 0.4in.Comic, tragic, colorful, and adventurous, Stickball on 88th Street is a sequence of thirty-four narrative poems that follows its speaker from boyhood to college. Its a memory book, bound with vignettes of school, family life, and the streets of New York City, as well as Maine and Mexico, culminating with a swan dive in Colorado. It reads like a novel or memoir, with characters, setting, and plot. Stickball employs an original form, neither free verse nor traditionally formal, but rather lexical. Instead of meter and syllable counts, the book uses individual words as its units of measure. Each quatrain has twenty words: six each in the first two lines, four each in the last two lines. This form imposes no ponderous regularity, allowing for a swift narrative flow. It was written over the course of thirteen days in August, 1977, and has remained unchanged since then. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781597094771

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