Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Forbes, Rorty, and cricket

Continuing my attempt to collect cricketing references in philosophical literature, here is a little gem sent in by Andrew Rutherford. Andrew wrote:
This is not exactly what you had in mind, since it is literally philosophical literature: a poem by the late Australian poet John Forbes...He was more interested in philosophy than cricket, though I remember watching Ravi Shastri's double hundred at the SCG with him, jeering at debutant Shane Warne.
Thanks Andrew. I had read some of Forbes' work (including "Love Poem" which remains one of my favorite poems of all time), and knew of him, but never got a chance to meet him before his untimely death. And of course, I know many friends of John's, including David Coady, who co-authored "Not Cricket" with me. So, without further ado, here is the poem that Andrew sent in:

HERE'S YOUR PIPE, PROFESSOR RORTY

His own worst enemy
bowled vicious bouncers down the pitch
but he ducked beneath
the whizzing leather,
not hating himself completely yet.
The grass was green
& the sky intermittently blue
between the two, indolent allegorical figures
lounged around the pavilion --
for them each day was like a gauge
you could tolerate no finer setting on
& when the sweat inside their gloves
made the batsmen slip
you heard clear, cogent voices
excited by a redefinition of grip,
floating in the air.

The Rorty above is Richard Rorty.

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