3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2004
When it comes to baseball poetry, nobody knows his stuff better than Tim Wiles, and that expertise is evident in the outstanding quality of this collection. Many of the expected poets are here, but so are many I'd never heard of before whose work I am glad to have been exposed to. The poems range in tone from somber and serious to playful and irreverent. One of my particular favorites is the entry by former pitcher Dan Quisenberry, who was a funny guy and had quite a way with words.
I keep this book on my nightstand and try to read one poem each night before I go to sleep. Except I often have a hard time reading just one.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2003
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. Sometimes with anthologies of sports-related fiction/poetry, I've been disappointed because there seemed to be differing levels of quality. With Line Drives, I was satisfied because all of the poems were worth reading-they offered a consistently high level of quality and all had interesting insights or fun ideas. Then there were a number of them that were among the best baseball poems I have ever read. Katharine Harer's "The Cure" speaks with a tremendous depth of understanding of the game and the emotions that go into our continued obsession with it. Joseph Stanton's "Stealing Home" uses an engaging poetic technique to compare the difficult return to the place where we grew up with that difficult play in the game. Dan Quisenberry's "Baseball Cards" offers an important perspective on players' insecurities and the myriad aspects of their lives that fans never see.
I also appreciated that the poems collected here do not revert to cliché comparisons or images when they connect baseball to life. In fact, some of them work against clichés. David C. Ward's "Isn't it pretty to think so?" challenges the idealization of fathers and sons playing catch and reminds us that individual experience is much more powerful and thought-provoking than any (false) perfect image. The poems felt fresh and that was in large part because many of the poets used personal experience as the starting point, reaching out to the game to make connections between their lives and those of the reader. As a result, I think that even those who are not baseball fans would appreciate and enjoy many of these poems. As a baseball fan, I know I'll enjoy rereading this collection and I think most baseball fans would as well.