September 10, 2015

The #Phillies love song of J. Scott Proefrock

With apologies to T.S. Eliot, let us look at "The Love Song of J. Scott Proefrock," as the team bids a not-totally-fond farewell to lame-duck general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.


Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like Amaro, etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through a half-deserted stadium,
The muttering tedium
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of lamentable intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Ruben Amaro.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing it was a gameless October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a trade to counter the trades you get;
There will be time to murder and abet,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question at home plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Ruben Amaro.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the major leagues?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with trade returns;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
               So how should I presume?

He grows old ... He grows old ...
I shall pay more for my first baseman cold.

Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to trade a Lee?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk beside the sea.
I have heard the boo-boos cawing, Utley, Utley.

I ignore that they still will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

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