RSS Feed

#10 NaPoWriMo


APRIL 10 — Here is my poem #10 for National Poetry Writing Month, composed in response to a prompt on ReadWritePoem: write about a celebration. This poem is a mixture of my imperfect memories, my imagination, and details from a letter sent to me by a longago neighbor. The quote in the title is from Casey at the Bat.


(~Ernest Lawrence Thayer)
Near the end of every summer
in the old farmer’s field at the end
of Rugby Road, whenever
our neighborhood clambake
was coming to a close,
with girls and boys leaving
their family picnic tables,
wandering in two’s or three’s
to one of the darkening porches
and women carrying inside
platters of leftover clamshells
and corncobs and pies
and men lifting or folding
tables or chairs or blackened grills,
my father who was by then
too weak for all the putting-aways
would recite from his seat
every quatrain of Casey at the Bat
and I would kneel in the grass to listen,
wanting the victory, every year
loyal until the end.
by Therese L. Broderick

About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

12 responses »

  1. Therese,
    Nice,nice! Oh how I love clambacks! We used to have them all the time on LI at Fire Island Beach.

  2. You had the good fortune to be part of what seems like a really beautiful ritual. I can imagine your pain in writing about this. It’s as much about time and life as the event itself.

  3. Oh Therese, I knew someone who did this also and your poem transported me to that time and place. A wonderful reminder that even after some physical strength is diminished, so many powers remain.
    Thank you!

  4. I’d say your memories are pitch-perfect. An absolutely beautiful poem that I will remember forever.

  5. Beautifully crafted, Therese. Pace-perfect and vivid. =)

  6. Therese, This is so vivid in scene and feeling. Economical and heart-felt.

  7. A very moving piece.

  8. Oh, wonderful! I can see you sitting there and the double meaning makes it so deep. Now, I’m thinking about my own dad!

  9. I read this three times – it’s that good. Brilliantly executed.

  10. This is what I call good-heart, Therese. That willing surrender, the loyal ear you kept. Well spoken.

  11. Hi Therese,

    Whatever the source of the memory mix, this is beautifully done.

  12. Splendid evocation of the past… though, what makes a clambake a clambake (besides the clams, of course)? I’ve never actually been to one; if it’s the way you’ve brought it to life, I want to experience this!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: