“Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer (Favorite Poem Project)

My name is Lee Samuel, I’m 11 years old. I go to
Fernbank Elementary, and I’m in 6th grade. I’m the president of my school, and my family has just
adopted a 4-year-old named Jesse from Bulgaria. My favorite team is the Atlanta Braves because I live
here in Atlanta, and they’ve always been my favorite team, and they’re very, very good even though the
Yankees always beat them. The poem I chose is “Casey at the Bat” and the
reason is I love baseball, it’s my life. I learned to read from looking
through my many, many, many baseball cards. And these are my better baseball cards, and on the back
of every card they have stats, and I learned to read. My first word was, like, pirates and giants or Barry
Bonds, he’s one of my favorite players. And this is my most valuable
card, it’s Ken Griffey Jr., worth $100. I have a lot of posters, especially of
Ken Griffey Jr. ‘cause he’s my favorite player. I have one there, one there,
one there, one there, one there. I have two calendars of baseball, one of Negro Leagues
and one of the Hall of Fame Major Leagues. Everything I do is baseball. I watch baseball every night
on TV and, just, “Casey at the Bat” has always been my favorite poem. “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day: /
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play, / And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same, /
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game. / A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest /
Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast; / They thought, “If only Casey could but get a whack at that— /
We’d put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.” / But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake, /
And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake; / So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat, /
For there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat. / But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all, /
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball; / And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred, /
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third. / Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell; /
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell; / It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat, /
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat. / There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place; /
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile lit Casey’s face. / And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat, /
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ‘twas Casey at the bat. / Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt; /
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt; / And while the writhing pitcher grounds the ball into his hip, /
Defiance flashed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip. / And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air, /
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there. / Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped— /
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one!” the umpire said. / From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar, /
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore; / “Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand; /
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand. / With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone; /
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on; / He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew; /
But Casey still ignored it and the umpire said, “Strike two!” / “Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered “Fraud!” /
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed. / They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain, /
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again. / The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate, /
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate; / And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go, /
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow. / Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright, /
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light; / And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout, /
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.

11 thoughts on ““Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer (Favorite Poem Project)

  1. This was very well done. I am a teacher who needs a club of students to read, understand, and write questions to this an other poems. You will be the voice they hear to learn this epic poem.

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